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 Episode 3: Prodigal Children

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Selina Karr
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PostSubject: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:30 pm



Episode 3: Prodigal Children

Synopsis: A terrifying biological attack on Betazed has left thousands dead and even more dying. While the crew of the Fenris aren't the closest ship to render assistance they are the first to see this type of virus being used on living tissue. The viral agent, VR27 was first encountered by the Federation when the crew of Starbase Seven encountered it on Baicephorus VII; a once thought abandoned Cardassian research facility.

VR27 is designed to prevent the use of mental abilities and eventually kill races that have the capacity for telepathy and empathy making it the perfect weapon against Betazoids. The group claiming responsibility for the attack are known as the Children of the Fifth House, a group of radicals that believe telepathy is the key to Betazoids becoming a dominant race. In retaliation for Starfleet and Betazed sanctions against their group they have released this agent. What's worse is that there might be a second device...

Objectives

*Arrive at Betazed to assess situation
*Proceed to treat patients effected by the weapon (medical)
*Carry out investigation to gather information on the attack and those involved (Security and Science)
*Co-ordinate with Starfleet and Betazoid security forces to defeating involved members of CFH (Marines and Security)
*Uncover second device and disable it (Engineering)

Notes to remember:
NPC Captain will outrank Lillian in terms of time in rank
NPC CMO will outrank Reisus as he is a civilian
NPC Betazed Security Force Commander will outrank both Marissa and Taylor

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Selina Karr
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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:23 am

||USS Fenris
||Lillian's and Taylor's Quarters
||0820


Lillian woke up feeling kind of giddy and stretched a little bit before snuggling up against Taylor and kissing his temple. Today was the day that she was going to get her son and she wanted more than anything to be completely ready for it because she had so much on her mind. She was thinking about Marshall and Sareth and her parents and the ship and the next mission and some missions they would undoubtedly do in the future. There was so much on her mind and she really needed to pee.

That kind of came with the pregnant territory, so she got up to answer Nature's call and then she get into the shower, taking her time to clean up and relax before she got out and admired her naked body in the mirror. She had her own little rituals and after a fond smile thrown at her stomach, she went into hers and Taylor's room to get dressed in her duty uniform, all of her stressful thoughts starting to congregate.

Like thoughts of Marshall.

Marshall had come out of nowhere and ruined everything and it was bothering her more than it should have been bothering her…or maybe it wasn’t bothering her enough. Everything that he had done to her was practically unforgivable and everything he had done to her crew was positively worse than that. She wanted to break him for everything he had put her through, but she was still so afraid of him at the same time. Would she ever get over that?

He still had some men on her ship, she knew that. Marshall had gotten a lot of them off but she knew that this wasn’t the end of the sabatours and she wanted to know exactly who they were. She was going to double check some of the crew in the manifesto—maybe all of the crew in the manifesto. What she really needed was to get an upper hand on him to take him out and cripple his operation.

Thoughts of Marshall made her think of Melinda and Marlo and how those friendships were now hanging by a thread and friendships made her think of the weddings. She had so very much to do and so little time to do it in and she was stressed. On top of trying to make Melinda a better person again and on top of trying to get Marlo back to liking her and Taylor, she had two weddings to plan.

Most people would just tell her not to have two weddings but it was about traditions and about having everyone there. Not everyone was on board with the idea of a naked Betazoid wedding on Betazed and so they had to have a human wedding so everyone could be clothed and attend. Still, the naked wedding was part of the traditions that she held dear and so it would be for family and for their close friends who couldn’t attend the human wedding or who just wanted to attend both.

That made her think about family and how she and Taylor still had to meet each others’ parents—weird as that sounded. His little sister hadn’t liked her and he and her little sister had tried to kill each other, but it seemed to her that they could still hopefully make this work. She was really close to her parents and knew that he would try to make an impression on them, and Leonard would give his blessing, as would her father—she didn’t know about her mother and Megan had already given her blessing. But what about Taylor’s parents?

Would they like her? Would they approve? She wasn’t exactly the type of girl that you ran home to your parents and flaunted around which was probably why she hadn’t met them yet. That, or because Taylor hadn’t talked to them in so long...or maybe it was a little bit of both. Either way as she started breakfast, she couldn’t help but panic just a little bit and hope that her parents loved Taylor as much as she and Sareth did because she and Sareth did love Taylor.

In fact if Sareth hadn’t loved Taylor like a father then this wouldn’t be happening. Maybe she would have tried to have something with him but if her son hadn’t approved then Taylor would have been turned away because Sareth was so incredibly important to her. As it was happening, however, she was getting everything that she had ever wanted and more and she was so beyond thrilled about it, even if everything in her life was incredibly stressful right now.

Trying to focus on anything else but the stressful and the negative, Lillian focused on preparing a giant breakfast as she heard Taylor getting ready. They had a lot to do today and it was a happy time, so she was trying to focus on only the happy. It was hard but she was managing and she couldn’t wait to be reunited with Sareth and then go on an actual exploration mission. Hopefully they wouldn’t be randomly attacked and that in itself made her feel like she needed to find a way to ready her crew for anything.

"Taylor...breakfast!" Lillian called out merrily.

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Sergeni Kostev
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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:49 pm

||USS Fenris
||Lillian's and Taylor's Quarters
||0840


Lillian smiled a little after calling Taylor to the table as she put out the sausage and pancakes and then put coffee into their cups and sat down at their breakfast nook. She wanted to make sure she and Taylor were both fed and while they could have run off to the Mess Hall when they had the time, Lillian wanted to spend breakfast with her fiance. She sipped her coffee and ran her fingers along her baby bump through her duty uniform, smiling nice and big even though she was starting to just now start to plan wedding things.

That and figure out what to do right now.

She was trying to make sure that she was doing her job to the best of her abilities because she wondered about what would happen to them should they be attacked again. They were meant to be an exploration ship and while they could all make it if they had the right training, this wasn't the kind of ship that was supposed to focus on that. So she sighed and got the syrup, spooning herself some fruit salad and suddenly craving some peanut butter for some strange reason...and a sickly sweet Betazoid pastry.

"I'm going to eat all of it!" She called to him again, smiling a little and then nodding slowly because maybe she would if he took too much longer to be ready for duty.

Even though breakfast was served and Lillian was waiting Taylor was still in the process of getting ready for his shift. He hopped around trying to slip on his remaining boot before he fell onto his back. "Bugger!" he shouted before putting the boot on and tying it up. Taylor quickly got to his feet before stepping out into the main living area.

With a harrassed look on his face he just sat and silently sipped his coffee before giving Lillian a shrug. "I was having trouble with the...never mind." said Taylor before falling silent again. Without a word he took a couple of pancakes and began to eat them with the supplied knife and fork. Obviously Lillian was hungry because there was more food here that he could eat.

"So...what does today have in store for us? Cardassians? Rogue Starfleet doctors? Space monkeys?"

"Roses and lilies," Lillian said suddenly even though it wasn't the answer to his question.

She was doing all sorts of things at once in her mind as she ate the fruit salad and the pancakes and started to eat some of the sausage. Her appetite had been growing and she wanted the peanut butter still. No, eggs! She wanted eggs. She should replicate some eggs. Smiling a little bit and laughing, she waved it off because she had been thinking about the wedding flowers but she had heard him. Honestly she didn't know what was in store for them and she had a feeling that even though it was supposed to be a nice, smooth ride, it was probably going to be yet another intense mission--it was never just a mission.

"As far as it says on the calendar, we've got a Federation Station where we get our son back," Lillian said happily, the whole thought of Sareth finally coming on board making her absolutely giddy. "Then we're back on route to the Drola System for some exploration--I'll have more details of that when I check my messages in my Ready Room."

Lillian ate some more sausage before she got up to make some eggs, feeling hungry and horny and a little bit tired--obviously she was pregnant. Thinking it all over, she continued to be a little all over the place with her thoughts because even though she had Sareth's room set up and Taylor had finished the crib (she had done a little work on it herself just to be satisfied) now she'd have to deal with her parents even though she'd told them that he was alive and well and explained it all to them.

"I'm going to need to set Sareth up in the school here...less kids than the starbase but still enough since we're an exploration ship and it makes it easier on parents." Lillian mused out loud, chewing on her lip. "Carlos needs my new shift schedule because I don't remember what I told him about it and you and Marlo are going sparring tomorrow. Oh! Mom and Dad are taking you to a mud bath thing in the Holodeck when we're here so be on your best behavior. Also, if you could extend a hand to Kalen that would be lovely--he's new and seemed interested in the marines so if you could be my lovable mate, that would be lovely. Did I make sure your dinner was free for us and Baby Bear?" She knew she was rambling just a little bit, but she sat down with her eggs and started to eat, drinking some more coffee. "We still need to pick a wedding date."

With the bombardment of information Taylor just sat at the table frozen stiff in his place before taking a silent sip from his coffee. Not even caffine could have prepared him for this breakfast so his brain was struggling to keep up with the constantly shifting topics and events. Soon Taylor's mind just picked one of them and focused solely on that as a ruse for the reboot.

"A mud bath." he said evenly. "A mud bath....Lillian I spent my entire career in mud what makes you think I actually want to bathe in it?" He gave a look that suggested that the idea of spending time with the in-laws to be in a pool of mud was less than impressive. Still he sagged his shoulders which was a sign that he had surrendered. The news about Sareth coming aboard was enough to put a smile on his face. It would be the first time he had seen his son-in-law after his declaration of being missing.

"Right...so kicking Marlo's ass and escorting the new guy around marine country. You give the best assignments you know that? I was also thinking about setting up a class for non-combat related crew members to touch up their phaser skills. If and when we get boarded every weapon counts so it would be best people know how to use them."

Lillian couldn't help but burst out laughing at the look on Taylor's face and then 'awww' in a very sorry tone because she had bombarded him. It was one thing to think all these thoughts at once but to say them out loud? She needed to focus on one thing at a time and let Taylor leisurely enjoy his breakfast before he had to go on shift, so she smiled apologetically and then drank the rest of her coffee before polishing off her eggs and then speaking again.

"I'm so sorry, baby--if I say it out loud I know one of us will remember. I just have so much to do right now. My jobs, the weddings, Doclin," she paused and took a deep breath. "Just bear with me, okay?"

She reached over and took his hand, squeezing it affectionately and reassuringly before pouring herself more coffee even though she was supposed to be cutting back for the baby's sake. Lillian thought over his words and focused on the topic of her parents before work and they'd circle back around to something happy before parting ways for the day--that she'd make sure of. Her parents...what a subject.

"I never said you wanted to, I said to be on your best behavior when you do," she told him. "Mud baths are kind of a Betazoid thing and it's important to them. Besides, it's relaxing and good for the pores. I made Daddy promise to be nice so you'll be fine and watch it--I am the best captain ever. It's about time you and Marlo patched things up again and Kalen is a sweetheart, I want him to feel welcome. Is that okay, sweetheart? I should have asked, I just thought my commanding side was a turn on and it got things off of my 'To-Do' list. As for drills, make it so. Never hurts to be prepared."

"Have your boy drop around the marine rec room ASAP and I'll give him the grand tour." said the Scotsman as he finished his pancakes. "And I will be on my best behaviour dear. You know me; well spoken, polite....I mean it's not like I can hide anything from them either which I suppose is a bit of a sore point. I like the privacy of my vacant head."

"Your head is not vacant," Lillian told him rolling her eyes and then getting up to sit on his lap. "But yes, they will no doubt invade your mind, but hey, that's a good thing. They'll know that you're being honest. So, how about you just perk up, okay? Everything will slow down, I promise."

She smiled and kissed him gently as she wrapped her arms around his neck, nipping at his lips and slipping her fingers into his hair. It made her smile a little bit more and she nuzzled his nose with her and then pulled back a moment to put her fingers on his zipper. Maybe just quickly. Maybe they could just be quick and then they could go to work and everything would be just fine. Right? Slowly, she began to slip the zipper down on his duty jacket, going in for another kiss.

"I just got my clothes on..." crooned Taylor who smiled at the kiss and the fact that Lillian was going for his jacket zip. It seemed that she was always trying to rip his clothes off and had decided to do so after breakfast. Now he was wondering what she had put in the breakfast to get herself all fired up like this.

With a nod Taylor shrugged off his duty jacket before pulling Lillian over to the couch, kissing as he went. His fingers skillfully undoing her duty trousers before giving a wiggle of his eyebrows. "Is this why you wanted me up for breakfast?"

Lillian laughed and kissed him gently. "It's that easy to get you out of your clothes, you know that?"

She nipped at his lips and went to get his shirt off when she suddenly felt that familiar churning in her stomach. Lillian tried to get through this and ignore it, but she had to get up, so, fastening her pants abruptly she went to the bathroom and got on her knees in front of the toilet and holding her hair she found herself throwing up. It had nothing to do with Taylor, it was simply morning sickness and suddenly she was sad because there went her breakfast.

There went her breakfast and her after breakfast fun with her fiance.

With a sympathetic sigh Taylor stood up and followed Lillian where he could hear her retching away. It was a shame too because he had a typical witty remark all lined up until she ran off. Gently he walked to the bathroom and began to rub Lillian's back as he cooed softly.

"I didn't think I kissed that bad…" he teased with a smile. While sickness, mood swings and other difficulties that Lillian had to endure while pregnant were natural Taylor figured that it was up to him to make it all easier for her. "Maybe this is a sign to lay off the caffeine eh?"

Lillian smiled sadly at his little joke and went to brush her teeth and wash her face, using some mouthwash and then turning around to face Taylor, stepping up to him. Honestly, she wished that she had gone for her hypospray instead of letting the feeling fester up into vomit, but what had happened had happened and the mood was effectively ruined. She was going to need to grab a little more food and then run off to her shift and it was just as well because she and Taylor needed to work.

"You kiss like a pro and maybe I need to lay off as much caffeine," she told him with a small laugh, leaning up to Eskimo kiss his nose. "Decaf isn't the same and with my job, I need the coffee...I did pack in a little too much of it this morning though and morning sickness comes with the territory, though it should have laid off by now. I just gotta carry that hypospray around again just in case to keep the nausea under control. Sorry I kind of ruined that..." she apologized, red in the face and needing to change the subject. "Your day isn't busy enough to keep you from going with me to get Sareth and my parents, is it?" she asked him as she rested her hands on his hips and pulled his body close to hers, looking up at him, gazing into his eyes. "I really want you to come with me when we dock."

"Not really much for my department to do." said Taylor with a shrug. "We've not really been able to cut out teeth yet and from the looks of things the engineers will be the busiest lot next to medical. I'll definitely be there for them since all I'm doing today is simple overview stuff. Not exactly rocket science."

Lillian smiled at him and nodded. "You'll be able to do something exciting soon, I'm sure of it. Hell, it's never just an Away Mission."

She took a deep breath and then ran her fingers through her hair before wrapping her arms around Taylor and thinking some things over. Work. Weddings. Kids. Family. Marshall. There was so much to take care of and she leaned up on the balls of her feet and kissed Taylor gently before pulling back and chewing on her lip. It wasn't the time but she wanted to know something else before they parted ways for work and met up later to spend time with Sareth and her parents.

"Think we can finalize some wedding plans some dinner soon?" Lillian asked him slowly.

"I guess we can do that." Taylor said with a heavy sigh and a nod. To complete his uniform for work he tied his pistol belt around his waist which held a marine phaser pistol. He needed to remember to start locking it away when Sareth came over. The last thing he wanted was that curious kid to find a weapon lying around, loaded or otherwise. However Lillian's kiss wasn't enough to dispel the thought that was brewing in his mind.


"And you're right…it's never just an Away Mission. There is always something or someone trying to kill us. Worst part of it is we aren't on some big space station lined with phasers protected by hundreds of marines and thousands of security officers. We don't have attached ships to look after us. I got used to that…used to noises on the Promenade, used to seeing how well we're protected. Now what do I have to protect you, Sareth ,the baby, this crew? Just this gun? No gun is big enough for that."

He fell silent as he let his forehead rest on Lillian's before gently nuzzling her. "That thing with Doclin just shook me up is all…I just figured that we'd be doing some normal things for a while. Rock samples, alien cultures…you know the stuff Starfleet advertises to your space-faring dirt scanners. I've done enough fighting and I just wanted to explore this galaxy. Now it seems that I'm going to find conflict where dad coming back is a point of debate."

The heavy sigh was enough to tell Lillian to drop pushing him into wedding plans--if he wasn't excited about them then she wasn't about to force him into anything. It was enough that he just wanted Sareth back with them and that he cared so much about protecting everyone--she could do wedding plans on her own if she had to and that was fine with her. He brought up a pretty good point though...even if part of her disagreed with it.

"It's more than enough, Tay," Lillian assured him with an optimistic smile on her face. "You are a boomerang--you said so yourself. The kids and I might see you walk out that door, but you'll always come right back. You have the will to and you want to, and you'll do anything to protect this family. We will get some exploration in alright? Some plants and rock findings that don't involve Doclin or any of that. No matter what you do or decide, I am right here, I promise. Right by your side. Through everything. Always and forever."

"Well I'm notoriously lucky." Mused Taylor with a cocked head. "And I think my track record speaks for itself in terms of how close I've come to an early grave just to skid by just at the last second. I know I'm just worrying for nothing. Life has been good to me finally and I don't intend to have the things that I've fought for to be taken away from me. So yeah I'll come back kicking and screaming if I have to. Sareth's already lost a father. He doesn't need to lose another and you don't need to lose another husband. I just hope my luck doesn't run out."

"I know we won't lose you, I do." Lillian smiled and kissed him lovingly, fingers massaging his scalp. "It's always going to be us and I think we have just enough luck to last forever. When the baby comes things will change a bit, but I know they'll change for the better. Sareth absolutely adores you and I love you more than anyone and this family...this is your family and you'll always have us. At the end of the day we're what matters, the four of us."

She kissed him again, letting her fingers trail down to his trousers quickly, wiggling her eyebrows. "What do you say we try a quickie again real quick before the kid comes today?"

"Oh...alright..." Taylor said in a mock weary tone before pulling Lillian down to the floor with him.
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Selina Karr
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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:55 pm

||USS Fenris
||Bridge
||0930


Lillian strode onto the bridge with a smile on her face, glad that they were on their way to a nearby Federation station to meet up with the shuttle that would be bringing her parents and her son. She wasn't quite sure why they hadn't gotten here already, but she knew she probably had messages waiting for her in her Ready Room. She smiled at Carlos and Derek and then at the man at the helm as she settled into her captain's chair--her messages in her office could wait.

"Nice to see you up here on the bridge..." she trailed off to let the man at the helm tell her who he was.

She was trying so hard to meet everyone, but so far she still had people to look after and since the ship was still sort of being repaired she was sure there were people that had died that she would never get to meet. That thought made her smile waver a moment but she recovered, leaning forward and little bit with a hand on her baby bump.

He sat at the helm, running his hands over the panel, refraining from actually touching anything that would alter their course to the station. He had been on the ship for only a matter of days, and this was the first real interaction with his captain that he had had. He thought back for a moment about when he walked on the Fenris. He had taken his own tour, familiarizing himself with the ship. He first stop had been engineering in an attempt to settle down and get accustomed to her. He had looked over the configuration. He had been shipped to Starbase 318 with his orders to be the helmsman for the ship, and he had tried to stay cordial but not associate with too many people. There were still scars that hadn't healed yet.

He looked up to his captain and dragged himself out of his own thoughts. He kept the information on the ship on his console for more perusing at a later point. He stood up, acknowledging her. "Lieutenant Gespard reporting for duty ma'am." He assumed she had gotten his orders and his prior service. That meant she knew everything there was to know about him. Well at least, that was written down by Starfleet. He intended to meet everyone and get to know his shipmates, this was supposed to be an exploration mission. Though then again, his last one was as well. He had been briefed on his captain and had thought the woman impressive. She had faced a lot of trials, and yet she was still kind. She was softer than most of the other commanders in the fleet, and his superiors had thought that this would be a good assignment for him to dig his teeth into after the accident. He agreed with them. Everything he had heard said that this ship, this crew was one of the most effective in the quadrant. "Thank you ma'am, for approving my assignment. I look forward to getting to know you and your crew." He sat back down to mind his station, but he kept an eye on her just in case she wanted more of a conversation then that.

"Lieutenant Gespard," Lillian said with a small nod, taking it in and settling back into her chair a little bit--she heard quite a few lovely things about him and was glad to meet him finally face to face. "It's nice to have you. As you were probably aware when we docked at Station 318, we took quite a heavy beating and once again I had to get a crew together. You were sent to me and I was pretty certain that I could use you. Having a good helmsman is always important."

Derek laughed a little bit from his seat next to Kalen. "Obviously you needed more than one."

"He has a much more extensive record, Ensign," Lillian reminded him, sending him a friendly look.

It was still a look of warning, but it was warm and friendly and Lillian was in a good mood. It was about time to see her son and then they were due to go on an exploration mission and she wanted more than anything to make this all work out. Besides, meeting new people meant making new friends and she wanted to make new friends. It would be nice to have more people to talk to and she also had to admit to herself that she was a little bit worried that Marshall still had spies on her ship. Everyone on the ship was now aware that they had been attacked by the legendary Doclin, but no one knew his identity still and for fear of his wrath, Lillian wasn't talking.

"Have you seen the ship?" Lillian asked Kalen happily. "Our Mess Halls and Holodecks are lovely. As is our Sickbay, but as a former doctor, I think that's a personal thing."

He chuckled lightly and nodded, "Yes I was briefed upon your arrival of your state and some details of your command ma'am. I will also be willing to aid in a crisis with engineering difficulties. It was my duty on the Arjento, and I tend to think outside the box. Or at least that's what my chief always told me." He looked to his copilot on this endeavor and nodded at him, "Don't worry I plan to be as helpful as I can. This ship is better for the both of us. We are all a team here."

He wanted to get to know the crew and didn't want to alienate the young man. He looked to be younger than even Kalen, but other than that he couldn't tell much about the man. He would get to know his partner and his nuances and how he piloted as the missions went forward.

He looked back to Lillian and shook his head, "Not entirely ma'am. I've been familiarizing myself with your ship via schematics rather than first hand. I like to know what she's capable of. And she sure is capable of quite a bit. All I've done so far is stop by engineering before I came up to the bridge to report to my post. I would however love to view it when I am not needed upon the bridge." He noted that she had said that she had been a doctor before commanding a ship. That information wasn't given to him in her dossier that he was allowed to see and it intrigued him. That was probably why she was so good with people. One had to be kind in order to heal the sick and wounded. They had to trust you and stay calm for you to do it too.

Lillian smiled at his knowledge of her condition. "That's good, because I have lost a couple of officers because they think I'll prove to be too hormonal as I'm already a Betazoid. However, that's why I have a 1st and 2nd Officer right?" she asked with a small laugh, scrunching up her nose in thought as to how to help him to mingle with the rest of the crew. "Well then, when you have the time you should definitely go to the Mess Hall. Sometimes there are poker games and food eating contests and all sorts of mingling by the crew so if you're looking to get to know the crew I suggest there. The Holodeck serves its purpose for relaxation and such and of course Sickbay and the Science Offices have all of the research going on if you're interested in that. Lieutenant Life is our Chief of Science and she enjoys her work so she'd be happy to talk to you about it. As for Sickbay...while I adore and respect both of our Chiefs, I suggest only asking if you think they're in a good mood--that or ask me and I'll give you a tour of it."

She wished she didn't have to introduce Sickbay like that but Reius was a disgruntled retired General and Elena was a testy joined Trill. How she ended up getting a medical staff that was so frustrating she didn't know, but they did their jobs so well that one really couldn't complain except about their bedside manner. Speaking of marines though, Lillian was reminded of Taylor and just thinking about him brought a smile to her face. Still, this was about work and so she just kept on talking.

"We have marines and if you wish to view them in action then Lieutenant Colonel Lucas will be more than happy to show you around." Lillian said with a nod. "He also has a bit of a mood, but appeal to his ego and praise his men and he'll turn on the friendlier charm. He's our Marine Commanding Officer and Ensign Hodge right there is your fellow pilot. Since I've instated you as Chief Navigations Officer, he is part of your department. That means that when the senior officers have a meeting, I expect you to be in the Briefing Room with a report ready for me or Commander Bakel, or Lieutenant Commander Sharpe as they are 1st and 2nd Officer respectively. Commander Bakel I assume you've met, however, as she's on the bridge more than me--I adore that Bajoran and I wouldn't leave this ship in anyone's hands but hers...other than Sharpe and Donovan who takes care of her during the graveyard shifts."

He nodded, "As you are aware ma'am, I'm familiar with that loss. Don't worry, I wouldn't dare do that to you. Even though I have my crazy ideas, they usually work. I hope to have a well oiled working relationship. I will know your ship almost as well as you before the week is up. That I promise you." He nodded, raising an eyebrow slightly. She was so candid and upfront with her thoughts, or so it seemed. He was used to being given orders, not advice and friendly assistance. Starfleet was right. And there was something different about her that sparked his curiosity, but for the time being he couldn't put his finger on it.

"I will most assuredly visit both the holodecks and the mess hall. Crew morale is important and I like to be as big a part of it as I can. I also like to play water polo, so the holodecks will be very influential on my time off duty." He laughed merrily, imagining taking his time off that evening to go and wind down with just that. The engineering department was all that he cared for on the ship, but the science office would intrigue him and probably get him out of his element. He liked to be challenged. "I will also talk to Lieutenant Life as well. The Science Office would hold many a new wonder for me, and I would enjoy learning as much as I can about it. As for sickbay ma'am..I've seen enough sickbays to last me for quite some time." He looked over to his copilot and refrained from saying more. He didn't like to open up about what he went through and didn't need for a stranger knowing all his deep dark secrets.

He thought about looking into the marines for a moment or three. He had been given high marks for marksmanship at the academy, but they weren't anything stellar that he should brag about. But he could learn a thing or two in case he needed it again. He hadn't hardly held a phaser since the academy save for when he clutched one to his chest and held his breath in the compartment aboard the Arjento. His training had failed him then, but he wondered if that was a good thing. It wasn't always the best idea to try to be a hero. No matter how much he wanted to be one to save some of his friends.

He saluted slightly, at her comment about the reports. "Yes ma'am. I will fulfill my duties to the best of my ability and strive to do better than even that. I thank you for this opportunity. And yes ma'am, she was the one I reported to upon arrival, though we hardly spoke. I look forward to getting to know the command crew and the rest of the crew as the days pass." He looked back down to his panel to make minor adjustments to their course and smiled widely at the beauty of it all. He would make this ship his home. These men and women, they were his family now. Even though he had only been on the ship a few days, he felt like he belonged there. "Ma'am I do have one question though. In the brief they gave me, they said that this was to be an exploration mission." He paused for a moment and a chill ran up his spine, "But they didn't inform me upon our headings past the starbase we are navigating to right now. Where are we destined for, ma'am?"

"Just call me, Cap unless it's crunch time, Lieutenant. 'Ma'am' is so formal." Lillian said with a gentle laugh. "But I'm glad to know you're here and I think you'll be happy with the ship. She's a pretty thing with some power in her and lots of experience--more than me. You should have a chat with Lieutenant Commander Sharpe too, as he's our Chief Engineer and I'm sure he has some extra work for you if you want it. And things get overwhelming, we have two fabulous counselors, though Lieutenant Veridian seems less busy than Lieutenant Shields. We don't bite, I promise."

She winked at him and then smiled brightly and looked around the bridge at the new faces. She'd lost three bridge members in Doclin's attack and it hurt her more than she could say. That and she wondered where Marlo was and she was waiting until then to leave the bridge to her and go to check on her messages in her Ready Room. That was an important part of her job and she expected she should do that soon as possible since her job as a captain was never done.

"If you ever need to leave me a message, relay it to Yeoman Salazar over there and he'll give it to me. I've never had a Yeoman but here he is and so far he's been completely brilliant so don't hesitate to give him something to do." Lillian explained to him with a smile on her face. "As to our destination, after a short rendezvous with Station 291 we will be headed to the Drola System to explore some strange phenomenon. That's of course not counting the little stops along the way because of distress calls or scans that lead us to supplies we might need."

He found the informality such a change from his last duty station. But he would adhere to it, it would make life aboard the ship much easier. It put a smile on his face, how happy just being here for a few days had made him. It was all so different, but his father had always told him to change and that change for him would be a good thing. In this case and surprisingly enough, he agreed with the man.

"Yes Captain. You'll have to forgive me, despite my rank and experiences, I still feel fresh out of the academy. It was a good habit to develop." He paused for a moment to look at the console under his hands to make sure he wasn't astray and then back to her. "I am glad to be here as well, and I am already happy with her. She has some surprises in her, I can assure you of that." He nodded, he had seen the man very briefly on his trip to engineering. "I will talk with him if I find I have quite a bit of free time off duty with a need to be put to good use. I don't like to sit on my hands. I like to be of help to anyone I can." He took the subject of counselors cautiously, choosing his words carefully. "Thank you again, I will talk to Lieutenant Veridian if I have the need Captain." He laughed at the biting comment. He was sure some people on board might, but he would never give them reason to.

He looked to the Yeoman and saluted the man informally. He had a great respect for his last Yeoman, the man had made the ship and her crew move with hardly any friction. It was amazing what a few key souls on board could do to make for smooth sailing. He listened to her last comment for a moment and breathed a sigh of relief. That wouldn't give him any problems. Despite being mentally qualified for duty, the last thing he would want would be to take another visit anywhere near his last post. "Sounds like an excellent flight Captain. I look forward to the voyage with you and your crew. It will be a grand adventure." He smiled warmly and turned back to his station, looking at the star charts with a rekindled hope.


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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:29 pm

||Marine Rec Room
||USS Fenris
||0948

The marine rec room was a place of retreat that the marines of the Fenris could, in some cases literally, let their hair down. It operated as both a mess hall and a small place for respite when marines clocked off before doing whatever they wanted to do. Apart from replicators and chairs which seemed to grace every lounge in Starfleet there was a couple of pool tables, dart boards and even a sparring mat. Of course the room was rather large which gave it the ability to accommodate these things.

Rather than stay in his office Taylor simply moved his padd-work to the rec room so he could enjoy scenes that didn't include the sight of the opposite bulkhead. While he was checking over readiness reports his current sight of interest was Marine Captain Keval th'Zarath, his adjutant.

The blue-skinned Andorian was eating something that was much like porridge. Taylor had already eaten today but was constantly swapping between coffee and cigarettes to keep him going. Everyone knew about his habit, some even shared it. Those that didn't agree gave the man a wide berth.

"You know the point of an adjutant is to do that sort of work for you." Pointed out Keval who licked the back of his spoon.

"Last adjutant I had was Canadian. He was great at his job and therefore left me nothing to do apart from wander around aimlessly." Replied the lieutenant colonel who sighed heavily.

Keval gave a puzzled look. "What's a Canadian?"

"A human from Canada. I highly recommend you avoid the place. They talk funny, eat funny and are funny. Kind of like Germans"

"Sounds like your race in general…" mused the Andorian with a raised eyebrow.

Taylor just 'mmhmmed' in agreement as his eyes scanned the PADD before him. Another heavy sigh left his lips as he let it drop onto the table. "Lists, reports, lists, reports…bad enough I've got to deal with some new pilot and the inlaws. I mean why does he have to be 'interested in marines' for a start? Couldn't he be like everyone in the fleet and just hate us? That I can deal with."

It had been a long day already, but Kalen had made a promise to his captain to try to meet everyone. He had been thinking about visiting the marines for some time, but he seemingly just hadn't been able to get around to it between meeting all these new people and working both on the bridge and in engineering. He wanted to work on honing some skills with them. After all, a little knowledge never hurt and in case he needed it again, this time he would be prepared. He didn't know what to expect when he went into the rec room, but he went through the doors anyway. Upon entering he marveled at just how much was in the room. He knew they were their own group, a core of fighting men. But this was amazing. He spotted the Colonel from his insignia.

"Sir, Lieutenant Kalen Gespard. Thank you for agreeing to see me sir." He waved his hand around at the room, "I know your time is probably precious, and you run a tight ship. Nonetheless, I appreciate it very much." He pondered for a moment before thinking back to his conversation with his captain. "I was curious if there would be any sort of combat tactics I could learn. I have little in the way of experience save what they taught us at the academy." He was impressed by the man, even intimidated. He was dangerous, it was written in his face and in the lines of his body. Kalen wondered what his life had been like to this point to sharpen this man to a cutting edge. "I am helping Lt. Commander Sharpe in the engineering bay with repairs, but with what free time I have, I would like to do everything I can."

Pilots. Taylor liked pilots for many reasons. First off he figured they were like marines in the fact that they could do a job that no one could just pick up and do without training and experience. Do it well anyway. That created a sense of both animosity and respect for both parties. Besides that he liked them for a more personal reasons. When the transporters are down and marines are fighting and dying their most favourite sound is that of shuttle or fighter engines. They meant air support, supplies or even exfiltration. Taylor just nodded in response and kicked a spare chair away from the table so it became an offer to join him and the Andorian. "Sit." he said in his Scottish accented growl.

"I'm Lieutenant Colonel Taylor Lucas the marine commanding officer in case you forgot my name helm-jockey. This is Marine Captain Keval th'Zarath who is my adjutant. You get two points for helping our CEO and for broadening your horizons. Combat tactics however is a rather broad subject. All a 'tactic' simply is, is a way that a force commander completes an objective. One may use force where another would use subterfuge. I'm not a busy man lieutenant. Training is handled by my officers and NCOs, paperwork by my adjutant. Therefore I have time to teach you whatever particular skill you wish to know."

The man was straightforward and blunt, Kalen liked that. Pussyfooting around things wasn't his style and it clearly wasn't Taylor's. He nodded and sat down, joining the two at the table. He thought for a moment at how he wanted to phrase his request before deciding that it was indeed not his style to beat around the bush. "Colonel Lucas, our ship came under attack before I was commissioned for the helm of her. I've experienced this before, on my last assignment. I want to learn how to be able to fight if it comes to it. I'm not trying to be a hero. No offense to you and your men, but heroes tend to end up in an early grave. I just want to be able to protect my ship if she needs it. I want to be able to protect my family sir." He thought for a moment before continuing.

"The training they gave us in the Academy was so rudimentary to be next to useless. I know how to fire a phaser and knock a man out if he has absolutely no idea what he is doing in a fight. But I was looking to improve upon those skills. I am a fair shot, or at least I was back in training. I guess what I want to learn is the difference in those two times. When to use force, and when to use subterfuge. In this time, one can never be prepared enough to expect every outcome. But I would like to be more skilled so I can be more prepared." He thought that was succinct enough for what he was looking for. Kalen had no foundation to work upon to specialize in any sort of combat. He wanted to build that foundation first before he tried anything beyond that. He knew in his heart that Kalen would never be a fighter or a marine like Taylor was. But he could at least be a member of a security team who knew enough to defend and combat an invasion or to go on a combat oriented away mission. That at the end of the day was his goal.

"Well, you already have my approval for wanting to protect your crew mates." said the marine who leaned back in his chair. "No training I can give you can prepare for any forms of combat. That comes with experience and you've got that. All it takes is instinct. There isn't two tables of situations that come under when to go all out with the phaser and when to hold back. But sure I can teach you some tricks that I've picked up over the years."

Nodding to the Andorian Taylor stood up from his chair and tucked it under the table. With his hand resting against holster as he nodded towards the door. "Come on, let's see if we can teach you how to shoot. Might be a shit hot pilot but if I know Starfleet training ain't hell when it comes to combat. You want to have the big kid toys then you've come to the right place lieutenant. Take a step into our world."

He chuckled softly and nodded, "I can understand that. Instinct isn't something that can be taught. And you can imagine more combat scenarios then I can probably even imagine. But I won't let you down if it is within the realm of possibility of me not doing so Colonel. Thank you for your time." He got up and tucked his chair in as well, looking over his shoulder at the rec room once more. He could get to know these men, get to like them. But he didn't think he could ever truly be one of them. But it wouldn't stop him from getting any sort of training he could to be ready for the next time he needed it.

He watched the man's nuances, how he moved and how he rest his hand on his phaser, ready for anything. He wondered if that would ever be his instinctual reaction, to grab for his gun in case he needed it. He followed him towards the door, "Alright. Sounds like an excellent start." He thought about the first time he had learned to shoot. But that made no difference now, his teacher was far superior now than the man who had taught him originally could hope to be.

Without another word Taylor led Kalen out of the rec room and towards the firing range. It was more or less a holosuite that allowed different targets to be presented at different ranges. Anything from close-quarter battle specialists to snipers could hone their skills. "Computer, single Jem'hadar warrior. General infantry. Fifty metres" ordered Taylor.

His request generated a Jem'hadar soldier which was one of the common troops he had fought against during the Dominion War. A pang of hate rippled through him but Taylor reminded himself that it was merely a hologram. The Dominion were tucked away safely away in the Gamma Quadrant. Taylor took out his pistol and offered it the pilot. "Type-IIM. Marine side arm. Same power cell as a standard hand phaser has a bit more kick. Give it a go."

He followed Taylor into the suite and watched as the Jem'hadar sprang from thin air. Kalen hadn't been old enough to be involved in the Dominion War, but only by just a hair. He knew many of the crew had been involved in it however and wondered to himself why Taylor had chosen this foe, whom he must have fought frequently. Maybe he just liked to shoot them, after all the damage they had caused and the lives they had taken, he couldn't blame Taylor.

He took the pistol in his hand and took his aim. Fifty meters wasn't the most remarkable shot in the world, but he wondered if it was a test. Well if it was he intended to pass it. He listened to the explanation of the firearm and nodded. He focused on his adversary and took his aim carefully. It wasn't moving, so he sucked in a short breath and pulled the trigger. He hit the Jem'hadar in his center of mass, though he didn't know if he actually would have damaged it if it were real. He had no idea what it's anatomy was like. He was just happy that he had hit it. He didn't want to disappoint. He let out his breath evenly, waiting for whatever came next.

Taylor gave a small nod of a approval and a facial expression that said 'not bad' as he saw the phaser pulse make its impact. Kalen obviously had the basics instilled within him from basic training at the academy but there were a few mistakes he was making. "There's no gunpowder in a phaser." Said Taylor who was very much stating the obvious. "No gunpowder means no backwards force known as 'recoil' if you've studied early Earth weapons. Every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction but in phasers and other energy weapons there is no recoil. You were holding your breath which either means you were preparing to compensate or you were about to 'snipe' from fifty metres."

He took the pistol gently from the man's grasp and holstered it. "Another thing; time. This pistol has a charge capacity of forty shots on a lethal setting. Ammo is not a problem so if you miss just fire again. Need to remember that the target won't just be standing there during the real thing but don't rush and cock it up."

The marine drew his weapon and brought it to bear against the hologram. Taylor needed but a fraction of a moment to line up the sights before giving a triple-tap to the Jem'hadar's chest. "You try." He said offering the pistol once more.

He took the weapon in his hand and thought about the advice he had been given by Taylor. He had of course studied history, but the breathing was just how he had been taught. It was one of those things that had just stuck with. Maybe the man who had been their Gunnery instructor had been a sniper at one point in his life.

He watched as Taylor took the weapon and quickly fired off three shots. He took care to try to notice and pay attention how the man stood and how quickly and efficiently he took care of his enemy. He took the pistol back in his hand and tried his best to take the advice he was given. Don't rush things, he thought. You will get that good only with practice. He took aim and fired three shots into the torso of the Jem'hadar. They weren't grouped well, but precision would come with time. And still the target wasn't moving, he was in no threat of danger. He knew how much adrenaline could affect one's judgement, and a sweat soaked palm could cause a phaser to slip even with a good grip. But he was sure all these things would be taught to him with time.

"Excellent." said Taylor with a smile. "You've got the basics down to a tee so all you need to do is practice more and more. Get yourself to the quarter master and sign out that phaser. If you want to take part in a more combat centric role you best have the gear shouldn't you?" went on the marine who decided he best get a new phaser pistol out of the armoury. Taylor then put on his old Scottish sergeant's voice that he often had to use many moons ago. "Well what are you waiting for? A written invitation? Bolt!"

He did as he was ordered, moving quickly. He signed out a phaser to practice with on his spare time and went back to the business of his adequately busy day. He smiled softly, and thought to himself. Well that had gone pretty excellently. He would find time somehow between duties, engineering and phasers to have a life, he promised himself.

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Marlena Cross
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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:43 pm

||Intelligence Offices
||USS Fenris
||1020

Taylor never really liked intelligence officers as a rule of thumb. He found them slimy, sneaky and arrogant. In his mind they had watched too many old Earth spy holovids and loved to use the words 'need to know' like some sort of sexual fetish which only drove his animosity towards them with greater conviction. While their loyalty and worth to the Federation were unquestionable their motives were. However Taylor did trust one intelligence officer; Ensign Nayla Pena, a good friend to him. They had traveled and fought together during Taylor's disappearance before she decided that there were better things to work towards than simply following your gut instinct.

"Morning Green, how goes it?" he asked with his friendly smile as he entered the offices and ignored the other intelligence officers who were both securing information around them and glaring. Marines disliked Starfleet Intelligence because they usually just saw marines as another asset to be used to further goals. Marine Intelligence on the other hand worked to keep marines alive and objectives accomplished but even they were under scrutiny by their fighting kin who tolerated them only because they were marines. The ones on board the Fenris however had no such protection apart from their Starfleet uniforms.

"Good actually." replied the Orion. "Been finalizing low-risk reports while my security clearance is being processed. Since I didn't go through the normal recruitment channels they're being extra thorough. Even this uniform can't hide the skin and repel...advances though so I've been hiding here for some time anyway."

Taylor just laughed and pulled up a stool. "Yes well, I for one am glad you decided to go for Starfleet services. Intelligence...not my first choice but at least you're happy. Besides you have first hand field experience while half of these officers probably had lived behind a desk all their lives."

Marlena smiled a little as she walked into the Intelligence Offices because she felt rather at home in a place like this--knowing details about everything before others did. Not to mention that sometimes she got to plant information and as a newly appointed 6, she was having a little too much fun with her new position. Then add in that Taylor Lucas was hanging out in the offices right now with Nayla and she felt like she was having a party. Why had no one explained to her that Taylor was much more attractive in person?

It almost made her orders like a game and she sauntered over to the two, smiling her smile and leaning forward a little to accent her cleavage as she was off duty right now and wearing a nice tight shirt and tights pants. She wanted to get herself acquainted with them--Nayla she'd at least met as they worked in the same department, but this was the first time that she had come face to face with Taylor Lucas.

"Good morning," she said pleasantly, smiling at Nayla and then focusing her attention on Taylor.

"Morning." he replied to the unknown woman who was sporting rather noticeable physical assets only shown more by her attire. He nodded to her as he looked at her face, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed as he often had done previously. "I'm Lieutenant Colonel Taylor Lucas, don't believe we've met. You are...?"

"Lieutenant Cross," she responded with a smile on her face, looking Taylor up and down approvingly. "You're our MCO...we haven't met yet, but I've heard quite a few stories. Hopefully someday I'll know more than just stories."

She winked at him and chewed on her lip before looking at Nayla. "How are you enjoying your new job? You're doing well from what I've heard."

Marlena couldn't help but sneak another glance at Taylor, grinning at him and letting it be known that she was indeed at least physically attracted to the marine. Anything else would have to come later. She licked her bottom lip and then she took a deep breath, looking back at Nayla to wait for the Orion's answer to her question. After all, while her flirting was anything but subtle, she had to be a little bit careful.

"Now I'm worried what stories you've heard..." said Taylor with a neutral expression.

Nayla looked at the woman with some suspect-driven interest. It was obvious to her that Marlena was showing some attraction since she was trained to see the signs. She gave Taylor the sign by itching her eyebrow with her left index finger. Taylor just narrowed his eyes at Nayla then at Marlena before tightening his crossed arms.

"I'm doing fine actually, thank you lieutenant. Just sorting out my affairs before I have to start." she said in a sickly-sweet tone.

"Good," Marlena told Nayla with a grin, looking over at Taylor's new stance. "You're so cold, Taylor."

She gave a friendly little laugh, taking a breath and then taking a couple of steps toward him. He was suddenly a little bit frigid, but it was no doubt that he had caught on to the flirting and was trying to make himself seem incredibly unavailable. Of course Marlena didn't believe he was unavailable even though she knew very well of his relationship with Lillian and how deep he was in with her. To Marlena, such things were minor details and she could do as she pleased.

"You've taken the defensive," Marlena told him, eying him up and down. "Mind if I ask why?"

The marine just shrugged at the woman while he remained at his wall. Nayla had watched out for him with women making pointless advances since reading women wasn't his type of strength. Now he had a green skinned radar to keep him right and make sure that anyone looking to spend the night with Taylor could be given the news that he simply wasn't interested. "That's a matter of opinion really. Most people find me rather cold while others find me more agreeable. You're just simply part of the majority." he said with a smile. That and you're an intelligence officer...my least favourite."

Marlena nodded slowly. "We do have a tendency of turning men off when they know who we are, but I never said that I was an Intelligence Officer."

She leaned against the wall next to him and looked at his face, seeing if she could eye scars to ask about or something of the like. Marlena liked to know about her opponent and while she knew about Taylor, she certainly didn't know about Taylor and it was her job to find out some of the little ins and outs of him if she could. She could do it if she tried hard enough...

"So what's the real reason? I'm a tough broad, I can take the truth," she said with a sly smile.

"You're looking for something that you can't get." declared Taylor bluntly with narrowed eyes. "Everything about your body language, cheek pigmentation and proximity to me says it all. I know you're an intelligence officer because no one else in this room looked twice at you walking in....not for the reasons for identity purposes anyway. So why don't you start with the backing up and stop fishing for what you'll never have."

"I believe the word, 'can't' is flexible," Marlena said with a laugh. "Until there's a ring on your finger, anything can change--and even then something could change."

She rested her hand on his shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze and leaned in close to his face, giving him a gentle smile even though he had clearly rejected her. A rejection was not going to deter her and she figured maybe he might be the kind of person that would bend if she pursued him enough, or maybe he wouldn't. Maybe he was a much better, much more loyal man than that.

In a show of simple disregard and disgust Taylor took a few steps back and batted away Marlena's hand rather forcefully. "I think you forget yourself lieutenant to the point that if you don't stop you'll be behind a force field with a broken arm. I'm not above hospitalizing crew members if they persist in annoying me."

Nayla just snickered to herself with a smug look on her face. It was often fun to watch Taylor shoot down women either in ways ranging from the understanding decline to what was currently happening in the offices. "You're talking to the man who refused so many private dances on Vega Station simply because he had 'other plans' which I didn't know, until recently, included the current commander of this ship. Keep it up, I want to see him carry out his threat."

"I know all about our CO and our MCO," Marlena said with a shrug. "I suppose we could simply talk business...such as is there a reason other than a personal one as to why our MCO is hanging out in the Intel Offices? Because last I heard it was about time we all got down to business and he has no business here...I mean unless of course he has more business here with you than the two of you are letting on. With the CO at his disposal, he could do whatever he wanted."

She knew she was pushing, but she also knew just how important it was that her officers got along and if Taylor was upsetting the natural balance then even he would have to leave and let the gray shirts get along without being intimidated by the MCO being there. It was certainly something she was willing to push all the way to Lillian's office because she had faith in the CO and her ability to set aside her love for the marine and command her ship efficiently.

"Considering you're talking to two people who have saved each others' lives on more occasions than you can actually count." growled Nayla who now had her eyes narrowed also. "All you see is all you get; two people who trust one another to the point that we know our back is covered."

A smug smile etched on Taylor's lips as he bumped fists with the Orion. "Besides I can go anywhere I want lieutenant. You forget that I hold rank. I might have no business in engineering or the bridge but I can still go to them. However if you think I'm less than faithful then I'm just going to have to let you sail under that false assumption."

"It has nothing to do with protecting each other--we all do that." Marlena said dismissively, starting to wander toward her office where she had a spare uniform. "I'm talking about his presence hindering people getting their work done in here. We have things to do and him being here is distracting. What you guys do for and to each other is honestly none of my business, but if the man is finished, he should leave."

She looked at Taylor and shrugged her shoulders. "Rank is all well and good, but when you disrupt how one part of a machine works, you break the machine. So...kindly go before I have to tell the CO that you're effecting our work and she does it herself. Don't you have something else to do other than pay visits to people? Lead people...it's your job, and let Nayla get back to hers."

With that and a swat to his ass, Marlena headed into her office to change into her uniform, hoping she would come out and have Taylor gone. At this point, she was planting all sorts of ideas in Taylor's and Nayla's heads and they'd work to her advantage. Besides, once word got back to Lillian and she had to come face to face with the Betazoid, she'd more than likely be recognized. This was proving to be a fun station already and she was happy to be on the ship.

A grimace crossed Taylor's face at the swat causing him to roll his eyes and shake his head. At least other intelligence officers had some redeeming features. Taylor wasn't drawing anything up for her in that respect. "Yes...let her get back to her low-risk reports." said Taylor dryly. "Exciting stuff no doubt."

While the woman was in the office Taylor just pinched the bridge of his nose as he tried to hold back on giving Marlena the neutron bomb of all bollockings. "Say ensign it seems our ship is in need of some calibrations and despite engineering being able to do it they've got enough on their hands. Come on...you can help me plan some stuff for when my step-son comes on board."

"Sounds like a plan." said Nayla who pushed her PADD to one side and stood up. "Anywhere is better than here..."


JP by these lovelies




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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:58 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:17 am

|| Lounge
|| USS Fenris
|| 1045

Carlos swirled the dregs of his coffee around in his mug, lost in thought. He was on his shift break, and wanted to escape from the confines of the his station on the bridge. After the attacks on the ship and away team, there had been huge amounts of paperwork to submit, everything from new equipment requests to medical updates to personnel files, some of which seemed simple at first, a single word…deceased…but even that inevitably led to more forms.

The noncom tried not to dwell on that too much. He had given the new navigation officer a friendly nod as Captain Crae had shown the man around the bridge, but left it at that. Carlos knew he should have been more sociable, but his thoughts were occupied by work and the recent events. Coming to the lounge to grab a coffee instead of his quarters had been an attempt at some non-work related interaction, but he didn't care to butt in on the groups and conversations around him. So he sat and stared at his coffee.

Now and then he would give a furtive glance over his shoulder, just to check the room for Science uniforms. The yeoman hadn't given that whole situation much thought lately, and was tempted to write it off as a coincidence. Still, he would prefer not to run into the Science Chief at the moment, out of apprehension at what she would do if she was who he thought she was.

Swirling his coffee and watching the clock, he passed the time and idly wondered when the next chance for shore leave would be. He and a number of other enlisted personnel were in the mood to cut loose and party, and there was scant opportunity for that aboard a starship. Although...he had heard about a little get-together down in cargo bay 3, where a maintenance chief was going to be giving out samples of his illicit homebrew, Might be fun, as long as no officers got wind of it.

With the thought of future alcohol consumption cheering him, Carlos downed the dregs of his coffee, grimaced at the bitter aftertaste, and made his way back to the bridge.
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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:14 am

||USS Fenris
||Captain's Ready Room
||1045


Lillian had to watch the bridge until Marlo came on duty at 1030, and after trying to have a conversation with her even though she knew that fixing their friendship would take more than this. Going into her Ready Room she sat down and then looked at her desk before opening up her console and trying to sift through her messages. What caught her attention, however, was a blinking message from her parents--as well as a message from Admiral Flynn. Of course she had to look at them, so she took a deep breath and she opened up the one from her parents first.

She knew she probably should have opened up the one from Admiral Flynn, but she had a feeling that something was wrong. Her parents had told her before that they would just meet her there and while any other person would think they were just giving her coordinates on the station to meet at, they were Betazoids--they would find each other through their natural abilities. Her parents did not shield or sensor themselves and Lillian knew that so this message had to be something else.

The moment the flashing sign of a message became her father's worried face Lillian froze and found her throat tightening up. Whenever her father wore that expression she knew that something terrible was about to come and she also knew that no matter what happened she was going to be able to get through this. Right? Was Sareth hurt? Did something happen to her mother? Now her mind was just running through one bad scenario after another and it was driving her absolutely crazy without her actually knowing anything about it.

"No doubt you've already gotten news from Starfleet, Baby Girl," her father, Minas Crae, began, "but I wanted to tell you firsthand that we're alright for right now. Sareth is a bit scared and he wants his mother, but Kara has things under control. Megan and Leonard are helping out as much as possible but we're still not sure if Megan is infected or not, Kara is looking into it. I just want you to know that we've got distress calls out and Starfleet knows and I don't want you to come, just in case. I know you're probably going to anyway but I want you out of harm's way."

Lillian scoffed at that. "Yes, because if there's some kind of medical crisis I'm leaving my son there without me, Dad."

"Kara is researching her ass off and people have come to help her with that. Things are...sweetheart I wanted you to know we won't meet you at the Starbase. We have too much here to--"

Lillian cut off the message to go to the Starfleet one, hoping that Admiral Flynn would be ordering her to take care of it. After all, she was one of the best doctors of her year--Marshall had actually become top in their year but that didn't matter--and it was ridiculous not to send her there. After all she was close and it was suddenly that realization that made her truly aware that she had sabateours on her ship. Why hadn't they picked up the distress call?

"Lillian, there are no time for pleasantries, I just wanted to make sure that you were on your way to Betazed. It seems that the virus that you sent us reports about that you were infect with on Baecipherus VII has shown up on Betazed in the form of a bomb. Many have been infected and now a threat of an airborne form of it has been picked up and it is imperative that that bomb does not go off." Grant explained to her with a weary sigh. "I know this is your home planet but I need you to put away personal issues and simply help the doctors there to find a cure and to have your medical, marine and security teams help the Starfleet personnel already there. I've also made sure to send another ship so you'll have plenty of help. God speed."

She just sat there frozen for a moment before finishing listening to her father's message, tears coming to her eyes as the panic rose. If this was in fact the same virus then Betazed was in a definite time crunch and she needed to get there as soon as possible. Opening up a comm link to the bridge she addressed Kalen or Derek--whichever one was there--needing to compose herself before actually walking out onto the bridge. Marlo had this right now.

"New course--head directly to Betazed, we have to answer a distress call, Starfleet Admiral orders. Fast as you can." She announced and then terminated the link and sank into her chair, losing herself in thought for a good twenty minutes before she went to address the rest of the ship.

She didn't have time to press the button though...her door chime went off.

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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:19 am

||USS Fenris
||Redemption's Caress
||1100

Both trouble making human and trouble making Orion in Starfleet uniforms at in the cockpit with their feet on the consoles in front of them as they slouched in the chairs. It was the only place that Taylor could smoke in peace since Nayla shared the filthy habit. A burning cigarette stuck out of their lips and an ashtray sat dutifully on the separator between them that housed a holographic display. Here Lillian and everyone else was oblivious to it all. Most would just give him the tiring speech about how bad it was but Lillian would be genuinely concerned due to his previous bout with lung cancer. She had enough on her mind as it stood.

"One of these days you will have to admit to her that you've been smoking your lungs out since you've got here, if she doesn't know already that is." Said Nayla after blowing out a cloud of toxic chemicals.

Taylor just shrugged and took a draw which he blew out after letting it cycle through his lungs. "Lillian has enough to worry about without her knowing I've been slowly killing myself with these little bastards." He replied as he took several more draws. The marine arched his eyebrow at a PADD and cocked his head. "What's this?"

"A report from Starfleet Intelligence on everything they know about Doclin. You told me his name was Marshall Frost, nothing really cross referenced that. There was a Dr Marshall Frost on board the USS Agincourt but no other mention. Guy is a ghost."

"This is high end personnel files outside of your code grade." Said Taylor sternly. "If they traced it…"

"They can't." said Nayla with a hint of pride. "I learned infiltration from the best; you. All they'll find are dead end leads to mundane reports if they decide to follow on."

Giving a facial expression of being generally impressed Taylor nodded and skimmed through the file. Obviously he could access files but he didn't know the connection between this doctor and a criminal mastermind. Taylor still didn't after he had read the file however the fact that he had once served aboard Reneé's ship was rather interesting. The timescales were all wrong since it was only a month at best before she had been given command of a Ranger battalion which didn't seem like enough time to develop a power base so that ruled out his sister knowing anything.

One good part to having the rank of lieutenant colonel was that if anyone from Starfleet Intelligence, either on the ship or from their HQ, would be told that Nayla was simply acting under his orders which he could perfectly draft up within minutes. It would either look like someone who took genuine concern for a security leak or just another overzealous marine. Either way all they could do was roll their eyeballs at Taylor trying to bite off more than he could chew. Unknown to most, he could bite and chew a lot.

Still the file didn't give him much to work with apart from his official name which he already knew due to Lillian telling him. Taylor had told Nayla to do some digging although he was doubtful that she'd find anything. The only way that Taylor found out about Doclin was because he had hunted down one of his sixes and got the name through very persuasive means. A careful and intelligent man like Marshall or Doclin or whatever name he preferred to call himself wouldn't be so easy to track down with paper trails.

"Someone is gunning for us Nayla…and I intend to get him first."
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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:45 pm

||USS Fenris
||Captain's Ready Room
||1125


Lillian certainly didn't want to deal with anyone right that minute when she needed to make a shipwide announcement about what they needed to get ready for, but she took a deep breath and nodded. She needed to have her wits about her and so she blotted her eyes with her sleeves and then she put on as genuine a smile as she could muster. It would have to do.

"Come in," she said, looking directly at Marlena as she strolled into her office.

Actually, it wasn't so much a stroll as it was her looking worried and angry and Lillian really didn't need any other problems right now. She just wanted to get to Betazed and fix the problem at hand...what was going on? She felt like the worst captain in the history of Starfleet captains and maybe her ship was falling apart. Maybe they only just now got the distress call. Whatever it was that brought Marlena here made Lillian's throat close up a little tighter.

"What is it, Lieutenant?" Lillian managed to ask her.

Marlena stood in front of Lillian's desk and took a breath. "Lieutenant Colonel Lucas is getting in the way of my Intel operations, Ma'am. He makes my men distracted and nervous and it makes them unable to focus on the task at hand. I understand that that is a personal problem, but when he comes into my offices and he plays catch-up with my new Orion Ensign instead of letting her do her job, shit like this happens."

"Shit like what?" Lillian asked, not even caring that she was being kind of frank.

"Shit like we miss distress calls. Nayla should have been at her station but instead he took her away while she was on duty. I have my men down there working as fast as they can to make this place efficient and he is pulling rank to have some one on one play time or something." Marlena said, shaking her head. "I want him banned from my offices until I am convinced he cares about our job. He told me point blank that he doesn't like Intel officers and I don't want him hindering our work."

Lillian took the information in and sighed loudly, understanding where Marlena was coming from and also thinking that it was part of the MCO's job to check in with Intel. They after all had to know what they were all getting themselves into and he was a higher ranking officer so he had every right to drop in. It did bother her, however, that when something this major was happening that affected her family, Taylor had Nayla off with him doing whatever it was that they were doing.

That was all that Marlena had wanted to accomplish though. She had wanted to appeal to Lillian's dire need to know what was happening with her family at all times, that she used this Betazed attack to put Taylor and Nayla in a corner. Lillian was now going to be mad at them because she was seeing Marlena's words in her head and was going to be looking for someone to blame for not getting a distress call. After all, right now Lillian wasn't thinking clearly and Marlena hid a small smile--that mission accomplished.

"I'll have a talk with him. You just get Nayla back on duty and I will..." she trailed off and looked up at her. "You have my permission to keep him out until we get to Betazed. Right now I want all priorities to be focused on everyone's stations. Now please, I have an announcement to make."

Marlena smiled and thanked her and then left her Ready Room, Lillian opening up a comm with the rest of the ship and taking a deep breath. She had to sound focused and authoritative and not like she was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. So, nodding and thinking of everything she wanted to say, she opened up her mouth and let it all out.

"We have been notified of an attack on Betazed and Starfleet has told us to heed the distress call. Security, Medical and my Marine Detachments need to focus on the task at hand and get ready for combat and wounded situations." Lillian explained as calmly as possible. "That being said, I would like to see Lieutenant Garren and Colonel Lucas in my Ready Room immediately. That is all for now, I will keep you updated."

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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:03 pm

||USS Fenris
||Captain's Ready Room
||1135


"Is that....?" began Nayla who was referring to the announcement as she stubbed out her cigarette.

"Yep..." answered Taylor who followed the action of his friend before rushing to his feet. "You get back to the Intel offices and pipe into my TED. I'll need your lips to my ears Nayla and your eyes on the back of my head. I'll be getting the marines organised before heading to Lillian. Go!"

The pair sprinted off their separate ways to their destinations as they carelessly barged passed crew members. Taylor was just a green blur as he knocked someone in a blue shirt to the deck as he ran past them without a moment's glance. With a turbolift ride here and a sprint there Taylor soon found himself within the marine armoury where his detachment was busy gearing up. Everything from rifles to water canteens were being taken from stores for the marines to put on their combat webbing.

Wasting no time Taylor got his carbine and armour from his locker, securing himself a new side arm and power cells. Plate by plate his body slowly disappeared behind shield encased armour like the rest of his marines. "Major Prideaux, what's our status?!" he called out to the French marine.

"We're good colonel." she replied as she slapped in a power cell into the rifle's chamber and charged it. "On duty marines are already at the shuttle bay. We'll be there ASAP. What's going on boss?"

"Unknown, you'll know as soon as I do. Get the heavy gear out just in case. Be prepared."

With that taken care of Taylor found himself sprinting again this time in his armour with combat gear hanging off him which slowed him down slightly. Even then he felt more comfortable in his armour than any other uniform within his possession. Over his left eye was a TED, a display and communication device which fed him information about the battlefield. Taylor just ignored the looks as he barged into the ready room before coming to attention at Lillian's desk and giving a salute.

"Lieutenant Colonel Lucas reporting as ordered ma'am! I can report marine detachment is ready and waiting in the shuttlebay for deployment ma'am!" he barked, still at attention.

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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:59 am

|| Bridge
|| USS Mitterand
|| 1135

"All stop. Helm, lay in new course for Betazed," the Mitterand's captain ordered gruffly, typing in commands into his personal console as he spoke.

"Aye sir, coming about on 1-7-decimal 2-8…and...ready for warp." The navigation ensign glanced over his shoulder to wait for the captain's command.

It came promptly, with the captain gesturing curtly. "Warp 7. Do it." Moments later the Akira-class starship thumped into warp, on its way to Betazed. As the closest Starfleet vessel when the distress signal had been received, the captain had known that they would soon be given orders to respond to the medical emergency there.

However, given the nature of their mission, the captain had opted to wait until receiving an explicit order from Admiral Flynn. He had foreseen that complications might arise due to this unexpected deviation from their previous direction. And complications came soon enough, when moments later the turbolift door hissed open and a man strode onto the bridge.

"Why have we altered course, Captain?" the newcomer asked, managing to maintain the formalities of rank but still sounding vaguely impertinent to the captain's ears. But that was to be expected, he supposed.

"We've received a high priority distress signal from Betazed, and have been ordered to respond immediately to provide medical and security assistance," the captain responded quickly, trying to head off further questions before they even started.

The new man adjusted his gray collared uniform ever so slightly, and frowned. "I can't believe I have to repeat this, sir, but this ship was already on a high priority mission. My team and I must get to Jalar III in a timely fashion to secure certain…vital assets. We were specifically exempted from responding to minor emergencies by Rear Admiral Kethvelik," he said with a trace of admonition in his voice, and he was clearly name-dropping for a reason.

But two could play that game. "Well, Admiral Flynn has ordered the ship to change course, and so my orders are clear," the captain growled. "We're to proceed to Betazed post haste and render what aid we can until dedicated medical ships arrive. Your mission will just have to wait," he offered with an air of triumph, for he was growing somewhat impatient with the other officer's constant demands demands of him and his ship, backed up by powerful connections at the Office of the Director of Starfleet Intelligence. It was bad enough playing chauffeur, but doing it for a bunch of spooks? Unthinkable, unbearable!

The spook currently on the bridge frowned deeper at the finality of the captain's statement, but said nothing. Instead he marched over to the comm station and leaned uncomfortably close to the officer on duty there. "What other ships will be responding at this time?" he inquired, indifferent to the abrasiveness of his manner.

"The closest ship en route is…the Fenris, sir. Luna class," the comm officer responded hastily, equally nervous and irritated at the man's invasion of her space.

"The Fenris?" the fellow in the gray uniform asked, a note of surprise in his voice, and when the other officer just nodded the man turned and walked over to the rail, leaning on it and staring at the viewscreen ahead.

The Mitterand's captain eyed the Intel man curiously. "Something on your mind, Commander Janssen?"

The man was silent for a while, stroking the stubble on his chin. Finally he mused "The Fenris…I think you're right, Captain. The mission to Jalar III will just have to wait."
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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:59 pm

||USS Fenris
||Main Engineering
||1135

Gabe stood at the head of the Master Systems display table, listening to the hum of the warp core as he studied the day's reports. As he took a drink of tea he suddenly found himself hoping something would break down. The dry dock crew that had covered most of the ship's repairs after their run-in with Doclin had done a grand job... too good a job as far as Gabe was concerned. He looked around to see this shift's staff doing the same thing as him, killing time until they were actually needed. Granted a few were currently keeping an eye on the ship's systems but otherwise it was a slow morning, something Gabe hated.

"Long morning isn't it Commander?" Asked H'Var as she walked up behind him.

"Does it show that much?"

"Well sir, you have been stood there for over an hour while drinking copious amounts of tea."

Gabe chuckled and placed his cup on the table, "Granted, not much else to do at the minute though... part of me wants to put my boot through something just so i have something to do, all this standing around gets on my nerves."

"That may be a bit extreme but i understand what you mean sir."he said as he handed him a PADD, "I thought you might like this, new plans for the sensor pod."

"Ah excellent, something to do. okay H'var get a team together and meet me up there... we have work to do." he said with a smile as the Ensign disappeared to get a few more engineers, "maybe today isn't ging to be so boring after all."
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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:17 pm

||USS Fenris
||Captain's Ready Room
||1145


Lillian looked up at Taylor and rubbed her temples, giving him a quick salute so he'd stop being at attention and then settled into her chair more comfortably for a just a moment before sitting up again. She couldn't get comfortable knowing that Sareth was out there needing his mother and she was far too far away from him at the moment to do her job--to be his mother. Instead she had spent too much extra time out doing things for Starfleet and getting ambushed by Marshall and now there was a chance that she might never see him again and the pain swelling up in her throat was threatening to cripple her right then and there.

Marissa walked into the Ready Room with a data PADD in her hand because she understood this kind of thing--grab what you can and tell the captain what you know. She knew this was more about her being informed but she liked to be prepared and she nodded when she entered and saw Taylor there at the desk saluting. Right now Marissa wanted to focus on her job and though she was a little impressed that Taylor was being professional in such a situation it made her wonder.

Didn't he care about how Lillian was feeling?

Betazed was almost his home too...

Shaking her head of the thoughts because they were unimportant to the task at hand, Marissa took a deep breath and stood in front of Lillian's desk next to Taylor. After giving the Lieutenant Colonel a small nod to acknowledge his presence all of her attention was on Lillian and whatever it was that was going to come out of Lillian's mouth.

"I want you both to just take a seat please and listen to what it is that I have to say about what's going on," Lillian began with a heavy sigh, her voice pained. "In fact I think that I will just play the message for you and then tell you what I got sent to me just a few moments ago. Admiral Flynn said he'd keep me updated and he has and now it is time for me to make sure that you two are updated. I will counsel with Reius when I have pulled myself together a little better."

She was far past keeping things from them even if it seemed rather unprofessional because Lillian was a Betazoid...that meant that she naturally felt emotions and since these were her own emotions as well as others she was just feeling overwhelmed. In fact she was feeling so nauseous right then that she reach for her anti-nausea hypospray and pressed it to her neck, taking a deep breath and playing the message for Taylor and Marissa as she had promised. It was better they hear the main objective from the Admiral and then Lillian would fill them in on the rest and let them know about the forces there already.

After hearing the message they were bound to have questions and strategies and she wanted to hear what they had to say on their feet before telling them about what they were up against as far as command went. There was always a way to get your superior to listen to your ideas and she wanted to know what the ideas were. If she liked them she would even lobby for them when they got to the planet. What would she find there? Was Megan infected? How was Kara doing? They could not get to Betazed fast enough as far as Lillian was concerned.

Taylor sat down as he was told and just kept silent even though part of him just wanted Lillian to be in his arms so he could offer some form of comforting words even though they'd be useless in this situation. Instead he remained calm as the message played around, trying to pull pieces of information from it for his brain to mull over and decide what to make of it. Something just didn't make sense; a bomb designed to affect telepaths on a planet of telepaths.

"One question ma'am." said Taylor calmly after he let the message run its spiel. "But why us? Detailed files of the virus are available to everyone and local forces and medical services should be equipped to deal with this without Starfleet assistance. Even then there are ships probably close by, hell he even said that there is a Starfleet presence there. So what does he expect us to do? Come up with a miracle cure?"

"It's us because we were sent, end of story," Lillian said harshly, not even bothering to meet his eyes for a moment because it had been a rather hostile line and she knew he didn't deserve it. "Starfleet wants us to aid. We are close, we have the means and I can help them come up with a cure and in the end save my people. We are not here to wonder the 'why', we are here to make sure that we have the means to be part of the 'how' that helps Betazed. Understood?"

For a moment Lillian felt as if maybe she was meant for this captain thing but she wasn't so sure at the same time as she realized how much her emotions were affecting her right now. She was supposed to have them under control and yet the thought of her son out there on his own without her was making her feel helpless and sad and angry. Lillian still had things to talk to Taylor about privately but she wanted to make sure that Taylor and Marissa knew what was going on and knew that they had things to focus on right now.

"This is going to be more of a rescue and research than a combat situation, I believe," Lillian said slowly as she thought it all over. "You will all be expected to take orders, as we will be outranked...even me. I assume that will not be a problem..."

"No, Ma'am," Marissa said, deciding to ignore the tone in the room.

Just seemed to her that Lillian and Taylor were being professionals, that was all it was. Still, it seemed like Lillian was more on edge than normal and not just because of the attack on Betazed.

"If it's not a combat situation, then is Colonel Lucas in charge of our group of relief efforts?" Marissa asked slowly.

"I don't think I am Lieutenant, otherwise Captain Crae wouldn't have mentioned that we're being outranked by, well, everyone," said Taylor to Marissa with a shrug. "Besides I'm just a marine. We can do combat, peacekeeping and SAR missions but this isn't just some hiker trapped in a very unfriendly mountain range. This is a bit too technical for the likes of your security officers and my marines. If anything we might be a footnote effort here. If Starfleet has already reacted our ability to help might be purely reference."

The fact that Taylor might not be the highest ranking marine, or combat related officer there, was not something Taylor could dispute nor had any trouble with. He had taken orders from someone his entire life and had gotten used to the fact that someone somewhere held his leash. Of course he had gotten used to making his own rules so he figured it would be time to bring out the professional polish out to make sure that Lillian didn't end up with complaint reports about him.

"Then again we might be required to assist with this second aerosol device that is being used as a looming threat. Chances are if the bomb threat is genuine they'll be guarding it to ensure detonation. You might get some action lieutenant."

"This is more of a rescue than a combat situation, yes," Lillian explained slowly with a nod. "Colonel Lucas will be in charge only if he is delegated to be by the team down there, but I want you to make yourself just as useful--I want you two to work together and help to keep people calm and safe. There is no telling what is going on down there and I want us to be prepared for anything. Betazed is at stake here and I want everything to run smoothly."

She tried to swallow but her throat and mouth were dry and so Lillian got up and replicated herself some water. They had a little bit to wait to get to Betazed and she hoped that she could be better together than this when they got there so Sareth would feel safe and he wouldn't have to freak out because his mother was panicking. Taylor seemed better in these situations and hoped when they got there that he could help Sareth feel safe.

"Sit down, please," Lillian said calmly. "Would either of you like something?"

As Lillian asked them to sit down Taylor frowned and looked at both himself and the security chief. Both of them where planted firmly on the chairs underneath them. "No thank you captain and we are already sitting down." he said carefully. "Look ma'am I know this situation presents a lot of personal feelings given it is your home planet. To me where we operate is of no importance nor who is on the surface. We could be going to Earth and it would make no difference. If you want to help the people you're worried about you need to stay calm and focused,"

"Become a parent and get back to me on that," Lillian said and then closed her eyes and sighed and looked at them. "I'm sorry, I know, I'm just...I don't know what we're walking into and I want us all to be prepared. As long as the two of you think you have it under control than that is that. You two know what's up now, so it's up to you to get your departments ready and working together. There isn't much more I can really give you in the way of information at the moment."

Marissa nodded slowly. "I think that the Colonel and I have this under control."

She honestly thought that they did and if there happened to be fighting then the two of them had this. It wasn't as if they hated each other or anything as they both had somewhat of a professional respect at least on how they handled their men. What she was worried about was if things got far too personal and Lillian was already freaking out it seemed.

In a nod of agreement Taylor backed up what Marissa was saying. Yes, they'd both be ready come hell or high water. Already he was planning how events on Betazed should unfold if the world was a perfect place and then introduce your normal chaotic factors to distort that plan to see if he could react. That was the thing about medical situations; despite it being an exact science most of the time they could be rather unpredictable especially where a civilian population has been affected in some way.

Though the parental jibe wasn't the way to win Taylor's heart he could understand why Lillian was getting herself wound up. She had family on Betazed including a child. Taylor also considered the planet some form of home anyway since Earth held little appeal for underlying personal reasons. Maybe she just didn't have the same switch as he did, the ability to drown out everything but the job when the situation called for it. He couldn't blame her for that even if he wanted to.

"If you want ma'am we can get going and get ourselves prepped for the mission."

"Lieutenant, you are free to go and get things ready, however the Colonel and I have matters to discuss on a different matter entirely," Lillian said slowly, taking a seat and chewing on her lip. "It seems that on top of having to deal with a planetside plague I have to deal with squabbles between my crew."

She wasn't happy about that and her tone suggested that she was a bit angry, but she knew she had to handle this better than she was currently handling it. So taking a deep breath she gave Marissa a smile and then she nodded at her to let her know that everything was going to be just fine. Perhaps it wouldn't be, but she had to at least believe that it would be or she wouldn't be able to get through this at all and she knew that.

"Keep me posted, Chief," Lillian told her.

Marissa nodded, wondering what was going on and at the same time knowing that she really needed to make sure that she didn't cross over any lines right now. Lillian seemed to want to talk to Taylor for professional reasons and Marissa had no reasons to doubt her captain. In the time preparing maybe she could see Gabe and make sure that he was ready for this and then make sure all of her men were ready--all of them. Right now they really didn't have time for any errors.

"Of course, Captain," she said with a smile as she rose to leave. "I'll keep you both posted."



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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:23 pm

||USS Fenris
||Ready Room
||1210


Lillian was annoyed and judging with the fact she asked Marissa to leave and not him it was obvious he was the cause. All the signs where there and Taylor was wondering exactly what was ticking her off. Racking his brains it occurred to him that the CIO may have actually gone to her with a complaint. Well, that was within her rights but not needed. He got the feeling it was simply because he had exercised his right to go anywhere he pleased without much care for her thought on the matter.

"Something wrong ma'am?" he asked, still professional.

Lillian took a deep breath and looked at him, shaking her head a little bit. "Do Marines and Intel officers always have to push each others' buttons? Is there like a manual I don't know about on how to make each other miserable?"

She had thought she would have a bit more tact here but honestly Marlena's words were still bothering her and she wanted to stop feeling so stressed out and trapped. She wanted to be with Sareth and cuddling him close and stroking his hair, she didn't want to be telling Taylor to back off of Intel and to leave Marlena alone. Hell, she hardly even knew what had happened between the two that day, but she could imagine.

"From what I've heard it seems you two are rather...I don't even have the word for it."

A small weight of sadness actually clumped within Taylor's heart. Even though he knew that the captain had to enforce some form of disciple in her senior officers the fact that it was Lillian made it ten times as worse. Somehow whatever he thought about saying just seemed inadequate. Instead he just gave a stoic look and an inward sigh. This went beyond the typical distrust between the two departments. This was something else all together.

"Need I remind you that it was an intelligence officer that almost got me and my entire squad killed?" said Taylor in a low voice that almost sounded like a corpse being dragged over gravel. If she wanted to play captain he could play marine officer. "And I might also add that the CIO decided to make sexual advances against me, unwanted ones I might add. If that doesn't give me the right to be a little bit edgy then what exactly can? Besides I didn't go there to make trouble. I went there to get some lunch with Nayla. She's been stuck with low level reports since SFI has yet to clear her for the real job she's meant to be doing so I took it upon myself to cheer her up."

"I have no issues with you taking Nayla out to lunch," Lillian told him, shaking her head. "You also don't have to remind me about Lars so..."

Blowing her bangs out of her face she found a lump forming in her throat a bit of anger rise up as she heard about this 'sexual advances' thing and suddenly she just felt overwhelmed. For once though, not even frustrated or stressful tears formed in her eyes...no, instead she found herself chewing on her bottom lip, pain etched in her eyes. She could feel the pressure in her throat and for a moment her voice seemed strained but she made her way through her next selection of words.

"You happen to be a rather attractive man," Lillian began, sighing loudly. "She wants you to stay out of the Intel offices until she says otherwise so she can get some work done. By now I would hope that you know that I trust you and I really just...I'm really stressed out, Tay."

Just like that she was back to putting her head in her arms on her desk, shaking her head and trying to take deep breaths.

With something of a sad smile Taylor left his seat and walked behind Lillian. Anger he could take but Lillian being upset was something he learned to navigate with tender loving care. Obviously his tact still needed improving in social exchanges. Gently he gripped his lover's shoulders before massaging them, trying to work tension out of the muscle. "Well one of us has to look good." he teased as he worked his magic.

"Look I know you're stressed. The baby...the job...now this attack. I'm sorry love, you don't need me acting the fool. If you want I'll stay away from the Intel offices till she says so. God knows when she'll actually produce some results given she's Intelligence. Just tell me how to make it better..."

Lillian moaned gently at the massage, letting herself relax for the first moment since she had heard about Betazed, but relaxing brought the onslaught of emotions with it. Relaxing made her remember her father's message and tears came to her eyes again thinking about Sareth and thinking about how she had to de-stress--for the baby's sake. She wasn't helping anyone like this.

"Do you know how many times I've watched this?" Lillian asked Taylor as she turned on her console and brought up her father's message. "I just want to be with my little cub and with you, somewhere safe. That's all I want."

Taylor looked at the message briefly before turning his eyes back on his wife-to-be. "As much as I don't want to say it...as long as we're in Starfleet we will never be safe. This job isn't designed to be safe as much as we wish it was. We'll get to Betazed, we'll help and we'll have Sareth with us again. There isn't much we can do if we let the situation get the better of us. Lillian...you're in command. We need you...I need you."

"I know I'm in command," Lillian said softly, nodding, taking in all of his other words.

He had a point about Starfleet and while she didn't want to believe him about that subject she knew that he was right and it made her whole face sadden a bit. She'd lost Salyn on assignment and it seemed that every time something seemed to be simple something terrible happened and people got hurt. So 'safe' seemed to be a rather delusional state of mind.

"I need you too, Tay...so much," she managed, turning around in her chair and looking up at him as she took his hands, other thoughts starting to come to her mind. "Do women hit on you a lot?"

The question had taken the marine aback since it wasn't one he'd be expected to answer. Every time a woman decided to make a move Taylor would just decline and wipe it from his mind so it wasn't like he had a number to work with. After some thought and brain racking he just shook his head and shrugged. "Not really, no. Kind of a blue moon occurrence. Why, do men hit on you a lot?" he countered with his usual playful smile.

He pulled her up from the chair and into his arms, caressing the baby bump through Lillian's duty jacket with a smile. "You are the only woman for me alright? Didn't get through all we've been through to fool around."

"Well, I wouldn't say a lot," Lillian teased, kissing him gently. "I trust you, okay? I'm not worried about you fooling around and you shouldn't be worried about me leaving, ever. Part of me is just...a little jealous. Did she manhandle you? Was it just flirting? Everyone on this ship knows I'm having your baby, so color me curious. I know that my main focus right now is Betazed--and trust me it is Betazed and Sareth--but I'm gonna be dwelling on this too now. Especially considering how much more attractive she is than me. I mean wouldn't you go for it if I wasn't around?"

"She's not my type." said Taylor adamantly, kissing Lillian back. "Besides you're all the beauty I need in a woman. You're strong, courageous, thoughtful...the great body of yours just happens to be a bonus." He smiled at her and wondered if it would be best to tell Lillian or remain tactful. No this was one of these situations where any answer was the wrong one so he'd best be honest anyway.

"She grabbed my ass...flirted I think. I think you're CIO is a bit too sickly sweet for my tastes."

"How is it possible for you to be just as romantic--if not more so--than you were when we met?" Lillian asked with a smile, kissing him tenderly until her answer came to her.

Grabbed his ass?! That was just not okay! Not at all!While she understood why a woman would approach Taylor and try to make a move, Marlena had gotten incredibly handsy with her outranking MCO whom she knew was dating the captain and then gone to Lillian and demanded that Taylor stay out of her offices. While Lillian understood that, she didn't understand the flirting part--why flirt with him if she was just going to start blaming things on him?

"She did what?" Lillian asked him, pulling back a moment. "While I understand her being distracted and frustrated with your hatred of Intel officers, under no circumstances is it alright for her to be touching my things."

"She grabbed my ass." echoed Taylor in exactly the same voice as he had said it the first time. It seemed that Lillian was none to impressed with Marlena's earlier actions which was more or less her right to be. She had crossed a line and then skipped behind Taylor's back to report him in like some naughty schoolkid. War had more or less been declared but the victor was yet to be seen. At least Lillian had went from despair to anger which meant that she would stop moping around which was more or less Taylor's objective. The method however could have been better.

"Yes...she touched your things...and enjoyed it." he said evenly with no hint of joking. "She didn't seem all too impressed with my reaction or lack thereof. I more or less batted her hand away. Should have broken it..."

"You're not a thing, I just...I don't like thinking about other women touching my husband." Lillian explained, sighing loudly. "I think her distractions weren't your fault--I get distracted with you around being all perfect too--but you told her you hated Intel so...for now just stay away from her. And no, I mean professionally I think that is best for right now and when this incident with Betazed is over, I want to talk to both of you and settle this all. No violence, no more of this nonsense...just talking this all out. That ass of yours is mine and she will not grab it again..."

She winked and then kissed him, focusing on Taylor before everything kind of came crashing back on her. For a little bit it was nice to be distracted by some form of anger and yet she had a job to do and she had to be strong about it. Taylor had a way of reminding her of such things and so she tugged on his lip with her teeth and then pulled back and looked him in the eye.

"So, as my MCO, do you have a plan for what happens when we get there?" she asked him slowly.

"Maybe I should wear my armour plates on the lower half when I have this talk with her." Teased Taylor with a smile and a wink. He could switch from personal to professional, playful to stoic in a heartbeat. It made him both unpredictable and a pain to deal with at times. People never really saw what triggered certain responses unless they spent a lot of time with him. Sometimes Taylor thought that he even surprised Lillian at times which what he said or did. Then again no one really knew what he was capable of doing apart from himself. "But I read you…I'll stay away from Intel until advised otherwise."

The request for an idea by the CO to the MCO was not an uncommon occurrence but something that SB7's commanders had never done. The only time he actually had anything to do with command choices was when he became acting XO and only because of his rank which was something of a miracle. Not that he enjoyed being in charge of the station. His marine department was his little world with its own customs. Taylor didn't feel comfortable trespassing within the realms of the Fleet. Again Lillian had asked something that both took him aback and required some thought. Marines had something of a unique approach to solving problems. Where an engineer or scientist might use the latest technique or fanciest technobabble a marine would instead come up with the most simplest and effective solution.

"Suits for everyone. Armour, EVA suits, HAZMAT suits…anything that prevents physical and airborne contact with contaminated areas or people without restricting our ability to work. Even non-telepaths should take precautions in case they become a viable carrier. I won't die from the virus but it doesn't mean I couldn't pass it into a Betazoid. We know very little about this virus other than what it does."

Taylor paused to take stock and plan ahead before speaking. Marlo would obviously have her own ideas but it paid to have multiple options which gave Lillian the ability to mix and match to her own preferences. "Get medical and science set up ASAP to deal with casualties as well as get some fact finding done. Security could handle the more physical investigations as well as work with Intelligence into finding out where the second bomb, if it exists, is hidden. My marines will be on stand-by to assist the Betazoid authorities as well as the Starfleet garrison and alert ships. I'll liaise with the ground commanders there to see what I can dig up."

"I think that's an incredibly good plan," Lillian said with a nod as she thought it all through. "Though I don't know exactly how I want Science and Medical to act yet...this virus is transmitted through blood and while it could have been altered, I...who am I kidding? Of course its been altered, otherwise there wouldn't be an airborne threat. It seems to be the same progression that I had, however, but I won't know until I get there and fix this. I need to get Sareth safe and then...what if the only way to do this is to test it out, Taylor? What if I need to infect myself to see how it affects the bloodstream and the brain through tests?"

The idea had actually crossed her mind a lot as she thought about how things had been when she was infected. Taylor had really showed her what lengths he would go through for her even though the two of them couldn't be together at the time and it had just made her love him all the more. This was her home planet though--her home--and she would do honestly anything to save it. Her thoughts kept bringing her back to the baby though and she knew she couldn't do such a thing...the virus would more than likely kill off the baby before she could figure out a cure and she just couldn't lose the baby. What was she going to do?

A small beaming smile of self pride touched Taylor's lips at the sound of Lillian liking his idea. There was nothing that meant more to him professionally than doing a good job and getting props from the boss was as good as it got for him. As long as she continued to have faith in his abilities that would keep Taylor happy during his on-duty hours. However the smile died instantly at the mention of Lillian infecting herself for study. No matter the cost Lillian was not expendable in his eyes. Taylor would gladly die for mother, pie and Federation but not Lillian…she deserved better.

"Or…you take a blood sample and a brain tissue sample and apply the virus then." He said carefully. "Or even better you take scans of the infected. Or…even better you stay on the ship and let Spots and Moody figure it out. You're the CO not the CMO anymore. Like it or not you're out of the saddle and sickbay for good. Let them do the medical work."

"I think we both know that I'm not staying on the ship and even though I'm currently captain, Sickbay is in my blood," Lillian responded, shrugging softly. "I know that they are the ones that are in charge, here, I do, but I just can't...I can't sit back and do nothing. I am going to help the medical team while you do your job and we'll meet back up once we've stopped the threat."

She took his hand and rested it on her baby bump, smiling up at him. "And when this is over it'll be you, me, our son and our unborn son or daughter and everything will be fine. I have to believe that. So just come back to me. No running off to get blown to pieces again, please. You are not expendable and you are not replaceable and I need you to be that boomerang, alright?"

All Taylor could do was give a sad sigh at how much his fiancée thought he was worth. To him he was no more important than the next person which made him feel fully capable of stepping out into the firing line. He knew his place in the process of being a marine and while it was important it didn't give him the right to not put himself in the same danger as his marines. The day he hid behind his rank was the day he was no longer fit to wear it.

"I think you overestimate how much I'm really worth Lilly." He said with his typical sad smile. "I know it's hard to step back from the front line. I've gone from being a front line marine, to officer, to a staff rank. But at the end of the day my job is warfare. Your job was medical now it's command. Please…just let this lie. I know you want to help your people but please help yourself for once."

Lillian opened her mouth to protest but then she shut it and gave a gentle nod. Perhaps her place here right now was to protect her son and she should let Kara and Elena and Reius and the other doctors handle this unless they specifically asked her help. She had been the one to give up her CMO position and she had to trust in others or this was going to drive her crazy--maybe it would drive her crazy anyway.

"Fine...but it's not going to be easy," Lillian told him. "I want you to do your job and I want you to be you but I want you to come home. Just remember that, okay? I'm not allowing you to die when I haven't even married you yet and I'm determined for us both to raise our kids together. So just...be careful. I'm still not staying on the ship..."

"Wearing thick plate armour with overlapping shields, anti-NBC capability and my own air for sixteen hours." pointed out Taylor with a smile. "Strapped with a pistol, carbine, knife and photon grenades and surrounded by people with the same training, weapons and armour as me. Trust me...I'm safe. It's you I worry about. You over-think things and it stresses you. After this I think we need a nice, dull patch of gas to scan."

Still smiling he stroked his hair with his hand, feeling the short brown scalp covering with an air of preparation. Nothing was worse than a situation that involved civilians. An armed enemy set out to kill you was easily to handle because that's what you were trained against. Taylor's mind just shuddered in disgust at the idea of people using unarmed civilians as some type of target. It was a cowards trick but also an effective one. "We'll get these bastards. I promise."

"As long as I don't have a panic attack, the baby and I are fine." Lillian said with a smile. "Overthinking is simply something that I do, okay? I think it's just how I am programmed. I'll be fine though--I have faith in my sister-in-law."

She nodded as she thought about Kara and how Kara was holding up with three kids to care for, but Leonard would take that responsibility into his hands and care for his children while Kara saved their people. Maybe that was what Lillian needed to do. Perhaps it would be best if she looked out for herself and the kids and let Taylor help to keep things safe. Still, it was hard for Lillian to simply sit still at times such as these when the doctor in her wanted to actually do something.

"I know we will, I just...this is literally close to home," Lillian responded with a sad smile.

Taylor gently pulled Lillian into him before kissing her lips softly, nuzzling his nose with hers. At least he had the chance to see her before a mission began rather than having to tip-toe around hoping to steal a few seconds. "We'll protect our home..." he said with a grin.


JP by these lovelies

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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:53 pm

||USS Fenris
||1240


Melinda was more than excited to get to contact Lillian again. She sat down and patched a secure channel to get to Lillian's console in her ready room and then she took a rather deep breath. Part of her did feel just a little bad because she had never actually wanted Sareth to get hurt in the process but it seemed he was part of the road to Lillian.

Maybe she could at least apologize for that.

Maybe there was something she could do to show Lillian she still cared.

While she was still and would forever be Marshall's highest 6, she did actually care about Lillian as Lillian had saved her life more than once. It hurt her to go after the Betazoid but it was her job and she owed Marshall more than she owed Lillian--that and she was scared of him. Crossing Marshall meant death and she was easily replaced.

So instead she just ran her fingers through her red hair and started sending the feed to Lillian.

Lillian was going through a lot already and her head was on her desk, buried in her arms when the beep sounded and she was alerted that someone was talking to her. While she didn't know why, she knew it could be news about Betazed and so she quickly turned the console on expecting to see her father or Admiral Flynn...instead she saw a familiar redhead. In fact this woman had on more than one occasion betrayed her and yet for some reason she and Lillian protected each other in any way they could.

After all, Melinda had tried to help her find Taylor after he had allegedly died.

So instead of saying something mean to her and closing the channel, Lillian straightened up and readied herself for whatever it was that Melinda would day to her. Was it a warning? Was it telling her who her spies were so that Lillian could watch her back around them? With Melinda it could really be anything and Lillian had to be alert with her wits about her.

"What is it, Mel?" Lillian asked calmly.

Melinda could tell that Lillian wasn't really in the mood for any bullshit so she decided to skip the pleasantries. Under any other circumstances she would tease a bit and fake happiness and enthusiasm but right now was not the time and even Melinda understood that.

"Obviously you know about Betazed right now," Melinda said slowly, taking a deep breath. "What you don't know is that you are being watched like a hawk and believe it or not I want to rat out one of the spies on your ship--but only the one. The others I have to keep disclosed or Doclin will throw a hissy fit."

Lillian should have known that Melinda was in on this whole Betazed debacle and she wanted more than anything to make sure that Sareth was alright and that overpowered her want to ask about the spies on her ship. Perhaps she should have been more interested in saving her whole ship, but her son was more important to her and that was simply that.

"What exactly do you know about Betazed?" She asked Melinda firmly.

Melinda took a deep breath. "I know that Marshall had the virus unleashed there and Sareth is potentially in danger."

She didn't want to skirt around the issue at hand here, she just wanted Lillian to be warned about what was going on. Sareth was in danger and Marshall was mad and Lillian was no doubt beside herself with worry and Melinda had some semblance of feelings still in her.

"I suggest talking to Derek and if you don't believe me, ask your fiance..." she told her slowly. "He knows more about Derek than I'm sure that you do and I want you to be on your guard because you have Marshall incredibly upset right now."

For some reason it honestly didn't surprise Lillian that Derek was one of Marshall's spies--there had certainly been signs. It made her want to hold a meeting with her Senior Officers because she knew she could trust them at least...couldn't she? She certainly knew she could trust most of them even though it seemed to her that maybe she should just have a meeting with those that she trusted. She just knew she couldn't single anyone out or they might get suspicious.

What pissed her off the most was that Marshall was behind the attack on Betazed and it made her feel the need to at least talk to Marlo and Taylor about it since they knew that Marshall and Doclin were the same people. They would understand her need to do something about this as soon as possible and perhaps even let her come up with a new way to tackle this. It was almost like Marshall was just playing with her now, and he was going after her son and it made Lillian want to be right there with him.

"Why do you still work for him, Mel?" Lillian asked her slowly, honestly caring. "Why can't you just get out and run?"

"We both know that once you get in you never really get out," Melinda told her.

She took a deep breath and looked Lillian over, knowing she had to cut this short even though she didn't really want to do anything of the sort. Melinda wanted to make sure that Lillian was okay but if Marshall caught her then she wouldn't be the number one 6 anymore and Melinda really couldn't have that.

"Just hurry to Betazed and pick up the pieces, Lill," Melinda said quickly before cutting off the comm link. "This is all up to you now."

Lillian tried her best to keep her wits about her and then she composed herself before she went back onto the bridge to look some things over. She would need to talk to Marlo and Taylor about this and she wanted so desperately to make sure that she was ready for this talk before she had it.

The last thing she wanted to do was not have her wits about her.



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Selina Karr
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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:45 pm

||USS Fenris
||Captain's Ready Room
||1340


Lillian really felt the need to talk to Marlo and Taylor about the Marshall thing and to let Gabe in on it all--he was after all her 2XO and he deserved to know these things. Even with the four of them in on it all they were no match for Marshall yet, but they could certainly be ready for what awaited them on Betazed. Lillian knew a little bit about how Marshall worked and she wanted Marlo, Taylor and Gabe to know what was up as well, so she had left Marlo in charge for a little bit on the bridge.

"Marlo, you're just on the bridge, can't you come in here any faster?" Lillian asked out loud to no one in particular.

She was just jumpy because they were close to Betazed and there was a ship on long range sensors she would undoubtedly have to talk to. Lillian just wanted to be on Betazed right then and there and soon enough she would be--and she would be helping her people and looking after her son. Now that she knew that this was some sort of Marshall-illustrated-game, she wasn't about to be left out of thwarting all of his efforts.

Taylor had decided to stand and lean against one of the bulkheads within the ready room. Armour might be designed for both comfort and protection but it was not perfectly suited to sitting down as one might in a duty uniform. Besides it was hard for him to maintain his cool emotional standing with Lillian looking so wound up. He wasn't a shrink but he knew how overthinking a situation can lead to problems in the field. If a commander can't get their head straight then bad things tended to happen.

It was his cool focus within a firefight that marines had given Taylor the nickname 'the Iceman' during the Dominion War. Off the fight he chatted, talked and laughed but when contacts started to occur people could see his constantly stoic glare as he managed his platoon. Now he merely grimaced at Lillian who seemed to be rather restless and he understood why. Her homeworld had been the site of a terrorist attack and with family living within the city where it had occurred wasn't helping matters.

"Will you just sit down and relax? We need cool heads here ma'am. You're going to spook the hens."

Gabe smiled as he leaned back in his seat, "Groundpounder has a point, Ya ain't doin' yaself, or the baby any good. Granted I can understand the reasons but overthinking things isn't going to help, trust me I have nearly a decade of experience with that one."

Despite his smile his mind cast back to Harklas. The voices and screams were quieter these days but he could still hear them. He shook his head to cast out the bad memories.

"So yea sit down before we're forced to to call a doctor to have ya sit down, and we'll do it too." He added with a sly grin and a wink, "That and I can if needed order ya to relax, see it was a little silly promoting me to second officer."

A small smile touched Taylor's lips as he leaned at his spot. The fact that Gabe was looking out for Lillian was well more than enough for Taylor to give a good opinion of the man. Of course him having a marine history was enough but it was the fact that Gabe had a good head on his shoulders. Taylor felt that there were few people he could personally rely on and Gabe was one of them.

He was glad however that Lillian had picked Gabe instead of him since the idea of commanding a ship caused Taylor's face to contort as if he had tasted something extremely sour. Back on SB7 being the acting XO was enough for him. Anything else was just out of the question.

"Trust us, we know about keeping a cool head."

"I am a hen, so stop grimacing at me," she told Taylor, then looked from him to Gabe. "And you are acting like my brother. I do not wish to sit down, I am fine."

She was fine, in fact, even if she was pacing ever so slightly. Lillian worked well under pressure and a whole weight would be lifted from her once she got onto Betazed and could assess the damage done more clearly. So much for a calm and quiet meeting with her, Sareth, Taylor and her parents--now there was no way that that was happening, which would make wedding planning harder.

The weddings--she wasn't even going to think about those right now.

"I'm just waiting for Marlo and then we can began," Lillian told them as she continued to stand there.

"I was also thinking about that small hole you're slowly burning in the carpet." Gabe chuckled.

Marlo sighed and got out of her chair. She always hated briefings...it seemed like there was always something else to do, but she could put it off no longer. Giving Derek a slight nod--they'd worked out some silent communications in all the time they'd been spending together-- she made her way across the bridge.

She hesitated outside Lillian's ready room. Nothing was the same between them, but Marlo had gotten her head wrapped around everything, and though she still felt betrayed, she'd let it go. She straightened her uniform jacket, and opened the door.

"We're nearly to Betazed, what are we walking into down there?" She asked, walking over to a chair and plopping down into it, the way she normally did, legs hanging over one arm, head over the other.

"I'm glad you asked that question, Marlo." Lillian said as she smiled at Marlo and decided to get this show on the road without sitting down. "This attack on Betazed was deliberate, but it's not by some random psychopath...this is Doclin's doing. Doclin, of whom you should all now know is none other than Marshall Frost. I suggest not passing that around as he has spies on my ship that could easily kill us all if we gave them reason to, but you three deserve to know. This disease...the one that I got back on Baicephorus VII...Doclin created it and this is his way of getting rid of telepaths, of whom I made him hate. It's a way to show me and the rest of Starfleet what he's capable of."

She took a deep breath and then leaned on her desk a moment. "I'm not sure if we're all walking into a trap or not, but I know that we need to have our wits about us when we get there. You all get that, right? Marlo...do you want to go down to the planet with me or do you want to stay on the ship and keep in contact with me? There's lots for you to do either place, I could use my top Engineers--you and Gabe."

"I think I'll stay up here. Viruses are my specialty, remember? I think I need to go see our chief science officer...she still has a copy of the virus right? Leave me alone with a computer, and I'll have the antivirus shortly." Marlo admitted.

She wasn't trying to brag but combine her two specialties into one and she was going to have the time of her life.

"Remy has a virus, but it's not the same one," Lillian explained, thinking it over. "However, since that's your medical specialty--viruses--I think that you should start to figure that one out, though you'll still need to figure out that on living tissue as well."

Then Lillian looked at Taylor and Gabe and took another breath. "Do you two think that you can help to lead specialized teams to work with the bomb?"

She didn't want to have Taylor anywhere near the bomb, but she knew that marines and engineers would have to dismantle such a thing. It certainly couldn't be left to the science officers who simply did not have that kind of talent with such equipment.

"It depends entirely on the building the bomb is located ma'am." said Taylor flatly. "A wider area to cover would mean a larger force to breach. We also have to consider multiple points of entry and any defences that might have to be overcome from explosives to defensive turret emplacements to the very people who planted the bomb. It probably won't be explosive in nature, not enough to destroy the building. They have to release the aerosol for it to have any effect."

Tilting his head Taylor wondered what other pieces of information the briefing group needed. "There might be an explosive anti-tamper device to prevent EOD action being taken against the bomb. I could defuse it with my eyes closed if I knew the design and specifics. However maybe the lieutenant commander here might be better suited. I'll probably be busy mopping the place up of bad guys."

Gabe shifted uncomfortably in his seat, his arms crossed over his chest. "I was a special ops sapper, so I have the skills." he said, though after the mess-up on Harklas he was more then a little worried. That cock up had killed 47 POWs, a cock up here could kill a planet, "Though I'm sure we have someone more skilled then me somewhere."

Marlo smiled. "If it hasn't been defused by the time I'm done with my viral analysis, I'll help you, Gabe. However...I need to start working now, I don't have much time."

"I think you should lead the team, Gabe, but take whatever other Engineers you need with you." Lillian said slowly, taking a deep breath. "I want my best in the places they will succeed this mission so right now that means you're my point when it comes to dismantling. I...think that we all know what it is that we're doing, so you're all dismissed. Once I check on this other ship and figure out what's going on, we'll meet back up again and be briefed on the situation on the planet. By 1520 we should arrive and beam down so...lets save a planet."


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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:24 pm

||USS Mitterand
||Transporter Room>Briefing Room
||1430


Lillian had known that she would have to talk to the other ship and since Admiral Flynn had told her to make sure that everyone was all up to date with everything, she went ahead and beamed over. They were practically to Betazed and she knew they'd be there by 1520, but right now she had to discuss tactics. She was certain that this ship also had their own medical, marine and science teams to send down and she wanted more than anything to just get this over with and get to her son.

Not only that but using a transporter had also made her feel just a little bit awkward considering hers and the baby's signals would get scattered and then put back together so the moment she ended up in the other Transporter Room she scanned herself with the medical tricorder she had brought with her and when she felt like she and the baby were just fine, she looked up and gave a small smile.

This was all part of the job--meeting and greeting and delegating.

Waiting to meet and greet her was an austere-looking older man, his dark hair graying at the temples and giving him that much more of an air of authority. His uniform was perfectly pressed and creased, and his rank pins looked as though he shined them every hour. He returned Lillian's smile with a nod, but his stern features robbed the gesture of any warmth.

"Captain Crae? I'm Martin Wierzbowski, captain of the Mitterand. Welcome aboard," he said soberly, and gestured to a Takaran officer standing beside him. "This is Commander Jevli Burast, my second in command." The Takaran nodded respectfully, but remained otherwise impassive.

Captain Wierzbowski seemed pleased that the formalities were at an end, and they could get down to business. "Now then, we know what we're here to do so let's do it. My people are currently preparing for large-scale disaster relief operations, and I assume your crew are doing likewise, so there's no time for extended introductions. I do believe, however, that it would be a good idea to use what time we have for an initial briefing and delegation of responsibilities. Follow me to the conference room, if you please." With that he turned and strode down the corridors at a brisk pace, clearly trying to test the younger captain as his XO flanked both captains with a practiced leisurely stroll.

As they walked, the captain continued his rapid-fire assessment of the situation that faced the two ships' crews. "Our initial communications with first-responders on Betazed have not yet provided us with a concrete understanding of the scope of the attack and the outbreak. Therefore I'm planning on organizing a two stage response, with a smaller initial away team sent in first to determine the nature of the medical and security situation followed by a larger joint task force that is fully equipped and prepared to coordinate with local personnel. I think it would be best if your people attached themselves to my teams as needed so that we can avoid overlap." That the Fenris' personnel would be subordinate was implied, and the captain's tone did not seem to leave much room for debate.

Wierzbowski halted abruptly then, and fixed Lillian with his signature piercing gaze. "I've also heard, from a somewhat unreliable source, that you've had firsthand experience with the virus. Is this true, and if so is there any special insight you can provide?"

Lillian followed the set pace of the walk with absolutely no trouble at all and listened to the man as he talked. He had years on her and obviously more experience as she was a first time captain and she knew that she was going to have to take orders. Honestly that didn't bother her at all--she was used to being a CMO and that meant taking orders and doing as she was told.

Besides, anything that saved Betazed was in her best interests and if that meant that she had to take orders and instruct her men to take orders then so be it. This man seemed to know what he was doing and she wanted to make sure that everyone worked together to get the outcome that she wanted: this virus eradicated. Then her history with the virus was brought up and Lillian knew that it was about time that she put in her two cents on the matter.

"Yes, I actually almost died from it," Lillian said slowly, taking a deep breath. "Admiral Flynn informs me that there have already been a couple of causalities and that no cure can be found. What I think needs to happen is for our Medical and Science teams to undoubtedly go down first and offer whatever help they can--to take blood samples and even infect healthy tissue if possible to see how the virus works exactly so a cure can be made since we do not currently have the cure on us. In fact I might have antibodies from when I had the virus and the cure, but I'd have to be permitted to do blood tests when we get there. I am of course not in charge here...that has been made perfectly clear and I am capable of dealing with that. The bomb, however...I have a Marine detachment that is more than equipped to meet up with the team already there to help to secure the bomb and dismantle it. Perhaps we should send our best engineers as well?"

If Captain Wierzbowski was surprised by Lillian's experience with the virus he didn't show it, but merely resumed his pace. "In that case I think you would be the best choice to lead the initial team, given that and your own medical experience. I'll coordinate things from up here for the time being," the captain responded firmly. "And you say you might have antibodies? Then I'll need you to speak with our own Doctor T'Lek about that. If she could get a sample of your blood on file here it would mean we could work on a vaccine that much sooner…once we have concrete data on the virus used down there of course."

He considered her other suggestions, and seemed to accept them grudgingly. "All right, I see the merit in that. Send down your Marine squad in the initial away team and have them link up with local security on Betazed to locate this bomb. But tell your people to coordinate with local forces and let them take the lead! We don't need any gung-ho antics here." The captain was clearly a Fleet officer of the old guard, suspicious of Marines.

"As for engineers…I can't spare anyone at the moment. We're straining the reactor as it is, replicating emergency supplies. But if you have some people to assist, then by all means send them down. Just make sure they don't get in the way of the medical staff." They approached the briefing room then, and the older man's stride slowed just a bit, as if he was momentarily reluctant to enter.

"I also have some…auxiliary personnel…aboard that I might be able to allocate to the search efforts," the captain muttered, a note of irritation in his voice. With that he keyed the door controls for the briefing room and strode inside. At the far end of the room a figure in a gray uniform lounged in a chair, booted feet up on the table and gloved hands clasped behind his head.

"Hello, Captain," Lars said amiably, then nodded to Lillian "Captain." Seeing Wierzbowski's frown, Lars took his feet off the table and sat up straight in his chair, folding his hands on the table in front of him. "How are the mission preparations coming along?"

"You have Lars," Lillian said when she saw the familiar man in the gray uniform.

Lillian couldn't help but look at him as she tried to get her words straightened out in her head because there was a lot more to focus on right here than on the fact that Lars was there and she needed to make sure that she kept her mind on the task at hand. Right now they were trying to put together a relief effort on their part even though people were already on Betazed and Lillian needed to focus on that. It was time to be a captain and a leader and not her emotional self.

"I might not have antibodies, there is only one way to know, and that is to test me down there with the virus," Lillian explained slowly, trying to focus on the mission at hand and not on Lars. "I can send my Marine force down, but I believe it would be best for my spare engineers to help with the bomb--after all it's more of a bio weapon than an actual weapon of destruction. There is an airborne threat and someone needs to dismantle it...find it first. Has it been found?"

She took a seat for a moment because she was feeling pained from standing, her ankles a bit sore. "My men will not get in the way, they are only here to help. The most important part of this mission is the medical staff and I think it is in Betazed's best interest that we give them our very best medical and science personnel and I will lead the first team down as you suggested to try and help with the cure situation. Right now we need to cure the infected and prevent the spread. This virus is spread through blood, so quarantine is easy and it doesn't affect non-telepaths, but I don't know if it can be carried and passed by non-telepaths. The airborne virus must be secured and stopped, however, or it may just exterminate all the Betazoids here...myself included as I don't know how the virus has mutated to become airborne."

"So you two have met…" the other captain mused, then returned to business.

"Local security forces are still searching for the second device, and thus could use assistance from your Marines in locating it. If you have competent engineers able to defuse and secure that thing, send them down too. We've received authorization for personnel to use deadly force if necessary when confronting those responsible for the attacks, so apprise your people of that. But stress the importance of caution too. The second bomb needs to be defused, secured, and turned over to Starfleet Medical for analysis of the virus in the interest of a long term vaccine. If such a thing were to spread, the casualties amongst telepathic races could be…severe," the captain said grimly, and fixed Lillian with his piercing gaze as he said it, perhaps to remind her of her own stake in the matter.

"That brings me to your own part in all this. It seems like a risky proposition, exposing a Starfleet captain to a potentially deadly virus in the vague hope of a finding a cure….but it may be our only viable option in the end. That decision is yours, Captain," the older man intoned, clearly gaining some respect for Lillian at her proposed sacrifice.

"Now, if you'll excuse me for a moment," Wierzbowski said stiffly, and marched back into the corridor, where he could be heard having a muted conversation with his XO until the doors hissed shut. Lars had been listening with a distracted look on his face the whole time, but when the other captain left he snapped out of it.

"Feeling all right, ma'am? You look a bit pale. Can I get you something?" the Intel man offered accommodatingly, and stood to move over to the replicator. "I hope you won't take Captain Wierzbowski's gruffness personally. I've come to find that that's just his style of command, and command is what he likes to be in. He hasn't taken too well to ferrying my team around lately, and I suspect this mission is in fact an enjoyable diversion for him."

"But I suspect not so much for you…" he offered sympathetically. "It can't be easy dealing with attacks on your homeworld…and more so given that you have a history with this particular pathogen," Lars offered coyly, hinting slightly at Lillian's past connections to the virus and its creator. In truth he didn't know as much about all that as he would have liked, and was trying to take advantage of the situation to learn a bit more.

"We both know how I feel about people calling me 'Ma'am' even though I can't avoid it now--comes with the added pip..." Lillian said, hinting for Lars to call her by her name as they were alone.

Then his comment about her being pale really hit her and it dawned on her that she had been far too stressed out to eat anything at all and she was hungry. She really needed to eat something and if Taylor knew she had skipped a meal he would be lecturing her about hers and the baby's health and that made her feel incredibly guilty, which made her straighten up a little bit in her seat. She and Lars had an interesting past and while she was mad at him for leaving Taylor behind, he had come to her and offered to be there for her and she had forgiven him for his judgment on the situation--she knew Taylor had not.

Taylor had gone through a lot being left behind, and in getting left behind, Lillian had had quite a challenging time trying to find him. Especially since most people thought she was crazy for even holding out hope for Taylor still being alive but deep down she knew it and she had gotten him re-instated when he had returned to her looking to come home. What would happen when Taylor and Lars had to talk again, only the Four Deities knew and Lillian hoped she was there to smooth it all over as Taylor was bound to attack.

"I actually haven't had lunch yet...don't suppose I could get a smoothie to tide myself over?" she asked him slowly before taking a breath. "I'm more worried about my son than anyone else, honestly. The whole thing is tragic and I will find a cure, but my son is telepathic...his Vulcan half helped that to happen and Vulcan physiology...I have no idea how this will effect him should he get infected. This virus needs a vaccine. I'll feel a lot better once we're there and my Marines are searching for the bomb. Speaking of which...you and I should brief my Senior officers."

She nodded slowly and then looked at Lars. "How have you been?"

"Lilly it is, just like the old days," Lars said happily, secretly pleased at being able to avoid being deferential to anyone through titles. Not that it sounded convincing even when he did use ranks when addressing superiors. He nodded pleasantly at her request, and took an educated guess at the flavor. "Chocolate smoothie," he commanded the replicator, and in a lower voice added "…and a Vodka Gibson." After both their beverages had materialized he brought Lillian her smoothie before retreating a few steps back to nurse his drink and eye her sitting there.

He nodded enthusiastically at her suggestion about briefing. "I've received authorization to assist on this mission; my superiors agree that this is a far more pressing issue than my team's previous assignment. I've pulled all the data on the top suspects behind this attack, and can give your senior officers a quick rundown on what we've uncovered. I assume you'll fill in the gaps where appropriate? Between the two of us we should be able to make this thing go smoothly, just like the old days too, eh?" he said with his best charming grin. Lars never missed a chance to feel important, and in all the excitement he had forgotten about the thorny issue of Taylor Lucas all together.

He feigned humility when she asked him about how he'd been. "Well, following the personnel shakeup at SB7 I was reassigned to Starfleet Intelligence as part of Vice Admiral Brynner's executive staff. Pushing papers and flying a desk and all that rear-echelon hero stuff. It's a living." In fact, Lars was exceedingly proud of this accomplishment, and it gave him a great deal of comfort knowing he was now intimately enfolded into the upper echelons of Starfleet Intelligence. It protected him from a great deal of unpleasantness, a reward for years of loyal service he was sure. "It's a lot of the usual bureaucratic wrangling, though I sometimes see some action when the Admiral sends me out to go take care of some Intel brushfire," Lars continued, glossing over the extent of his activities as usual.

"How are the rigors of command treating you? It's not your first time of course, but a starship is a bird of a different feather compared to your previous experiences." He smiled as he sipped his drink and considered those experiences that he'd witnessed.

"Lucky you, I just got a ship and an ever expanding waistline," Lillian said shaking her had, drinking some of the smoothie and then chewing on her bottom lip. "Alright, I can't complain, I do like being captain. I just...times like this I wish I was the CMO again. Finding problems, curing diseases. I do have people to count on and delegate to as well--I even have my own Yeoman and believe me they are much more useful than I was ever led to believe. It helps too that my personal life--besides this detour--is all on track. You're also no longer screwing my sister, so I don't hear all that much anymore about that part of her life. Megan's focusing on becoming a renowned Diplomat and I couldn't be more proud."

She wanted to throw that in as a mother hen and as an older sister just to make her point since the two might cross paths, though she doubted that. Megan was busy dealing with keeping people from going on and off Betazed that weren't there to help and Lars had other things to attend to. So Lillian just had to say it to remind him that the two of them had history and it was okay if he asked her hard questions. Nodding a little bit, she even ran her fingers through her shorter hair and her engagement ring was flashed at the Intel officer.

"In fact I'm proud of you, Lars. I told Marlo that you had it in you to be on the straight and narrow," Lillian said with a motherly smile thrown his way. "And speaking of the straight and narrow...I assure you that you have absolutely no idea what you're dealing with down there. Starfleet has been in the dark about Doclin since the dawn of his time and now isn't any different. Then again, there are other people you've been connected with that might know, right? The last two months I learned a lot more about Doclin that I didn't know before and we both know who I'm talking about."

Fact of the matter was that Lillian knew just as much about Sully now as she did then, but she knew that Lars had information that Starfleet wished they had and he was just playing it close to the vest. While she trusted Lars, she also knew that there was a lot about him that she didn't know and that she never would know. That was perfectly alright with Lillian but she wanted Lars to know that she didn't like to skirt around issues and if he wanted to talk about this, then they would talk about this.

"What do you want to know, Lars?" Lillian asked him calmly. "Do you want to know why Betazed is the target? Do you want to know why I know things above my pay grade? As far as I am concerned we are friends, so just be straight forward with me."

"Megan…" Lars said wistfully, and took a deeper drink. "How is… well, never mind." Silently reminiscing for a moment, he didn't even flinch at Lillian's comment about screwing, true as it was..or had been. The two unlikely lovers had drifted apart after SB7, separated by a wide galaxy and the wider gulf of their own career ambitions. Lars regretted it at times, but supposed it was for the best. Purple and gray weren't supposed to mix. Still…

He shook himself out of his reverie, trying to think of something else. Noticing her engagement ring then, Lars started to say something conversational, but quickly decided against it. In his experience, observations on matters such as pregnancy and marriage in women were best left to other women, lest he botch a compliment with masculine clumsiness. He assumed she must have had some marriage arranged by her family, with a high ranking Betazoid politician or civil servant perhaps. The possibility that the ring was tied to a certain Marine never crossed his mind.

Especially not with the subject now being discussed. Grimacing slightly at her mention of the 'straight and narrow' and 'people he'd been connected with,' but hiding it behind his drink, Lars continued in his most professional tone. "I had the opportunity to study the circumstances of your recent encounter with this Doclin character. I must confess it all came as something of a surprise to me, and you must know I don't like surprises. So yes, I am curious about why this virus is being unleashed against the unfortunate denizens of Betazed, and by whom, and exceedingly curious about your part in all this since it seems to be a whole lot more…intricate than most people would assume." It wasn't often Lars cared to admit his own ignorance, but in this case he thought it prudent. The connections Lillian spoke of had kept him in the dark about the matter of Doclin, even warned him not to delve too deeply into that area, but now Lars saw a chance to strengthen his own position by learning more anyway.

"And as far as I'm concerned we're friends too, so if I can think of any way of using my…connections…to help you out in this matter, I will. That's a promise, Lilly," he added familiarly, and smiled a charming smile again.

"Megan is good," Lillian told him with a smile as she drank more of the smoothie, finishing it off rather quickly and realizing just how hungry she was. "She misses you as she gets attached but she also has a habit of running from people she really likes, so the space is something I'm sure both of you think is better."

She smiled a little bit and pushed the cup away from her, shifting and hoping her stomach wouldn't betray that she needed some food. Lillian rested her hands on the table and looked at Lars, trying to carefully pick and choose her words and smiling as he used that charming smile that he always seemed to have equipped at the ready. She didn't know how much to tell him and how much to keep to herself, but she knew that she had to tell him something.

"Doclin and I have history and honestly, that's as much as I feel comfortable saying right now," Lillian told him, looking around a moment. "I don't want you to be put in danger by me dragging you into my mess, I'm upset enough that the people that I love are involved and that such a lash out on me has to be done on my home planet where my son is. I know that you are all here from me, but I need to do things on my own, pregnant or not. He is my fight and while he is putting others in the middle of it and it is certainly not helpful, I will eventually have this all under control."

Closing her eyes a moment, she opened them and looked Lars in the eye. "I don't want you to be involved in the same mess that Taylor and Marlo got dragged into. You have other things to attend to and if you're still in his company, let him know that that job he asked me to do is still going as planned. It's just taking a little while longer than anticipated."

Lars kept his face impassive when she spoke of what must have been Sully and his schemes. In truth he had no idea what job his mysterious benefactor had asked Lillian to do, but he was not about to let on to that. "Regardless, I'll see what I can do to help," was all he offered in a flat, emotionless tone of voice. "I must owe you that much." Inside he was troubled, as he always was, to find out more about his mentor's machinations, mostly because Lars felt like he shouldn't have been excluded from so much of it. Jealousy, more or less. A part of him realized that this secrecy was necessary, but he still brooded over the whole thing in silence for a few moments, finishing his drink and spinning the glass around on the table.

Then he seemed to recover, and go on the offensive. "Under control? Forgive me for asking, but just how do you plan to do that? Even based on my limited grasp of the situation I can see that this matter is rapidly escalating, and it seems like this Doclin and his cronies have you and I and Starfleet on the defensive. Now it seems to me that the good Doctor is jabbing at you, goading you, threatening you, but never really hurting you as much as he could. You're letting him decide the rules of the game, and one day he might decide to change them to where you can never win and you lose more than you'd ever care to bet. So I say you need to act, and throw all your pieces on the board against him. Hell, borrow some pieces from other players if you have to. I'm sure our mutual acquaintance won't mind loaning you a few." That was as much as he'd say about Sully for the moment.

"But dammit Lilly, you're the one that can best see the whole game board right now and you're the one that has to do something!" Lars intoned passionately. His blood was up now, possibly at the thought of Megan and the terrifying possibility that she too could be threatened by this Doclin and his viruses. "So what are you -we- going to do about it?" he said forcefully, taking a few steps forward and watching Lillian intently.

"He has the means to destroy us at the moment, Lars," Lillian said rather calmly, shaking her head. "I will strike the moment I find his weakness and believe me, I will find it. He is pushing right now--trying to weaken me--and he will not get to Sareth. I will not allow it."

Lillian shook her head and ignored the grumbling of her stomach as she stood a moment and leaned on the table, looking at Lars only after taking a deep breath. She had to steady herself and make sure that she had chosen her next words as carefully as she could. The last thing that she wanted was Lars trying to upset the very delicate balance that she and Marshall had right at that moment.

"What we are going to do is save Betazed," Lillian told Lars firmly. "After that, if you still want to be involved, then consider yourself involved. Doclin is not above hurting my family and he's working his way through. First Taylor, now Sareth...I just have to find his weakness, and I will. I am handling this. If you want to help, I can't stop you but you cannot upset this balance. The moment he thinks he is threatened he will strike to kill and I can't let that happen. You have to trust me and my judgment. Lets just brief my Senior Staff and fix what is broken right now...we can focus on the future when we're not so crippled right now."

Lars was both chastised and placated by her words, and so he nodded in acceptance of her resolute stance. He knew enough to know that he didn't know enough about all this to do anything on his own. Still, after they dealt with the crisis on Betazed he was going to request special detached duty from Vice Admiral Brynner to look into this issue more in depth. But for now Lillian was right. It was time to brief the senior officers and deal with the virus on Betazed.

Tossing his glass into the replicator's disposal, he checked the time to destination on the wall LCARS. "Not long now. Let's get to it then." Lars strolled over to the door and opened it. Captain Wierzbowski and his XO were still standing outside and when the door opened they hastily resumed their conversation, trying to make it seem like they'd been doing that all along. Several more of the Mitterand's officers were waiting in the corridor as well, and they turned to regard the Intel man.

"I think we had better assemble the relevant officers and begin the briefing, Captain," Lars told Wierzbowski calmly. The older man's face was creased by a frown, but he just nodded in agreement and waved to his second in command. Lars glanced over his shoulder at Lillian and beckoned to her. "Well Captain, time to get down to business, eh?" he asked nonchalantly, as though they had merely been discussing pleasantries the whole time. His casual attitude was for the benefit of the watching officers, as Lars knew that for once he needed to avoid trying to undermine anyone's authority for his own gain. He hated to admit it, but for the moment they were all in this together.


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Selina Karr
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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:37 pm

||USS Mitterand
||Briefing Room
||1445


Lillian grabbed herself something to eat as she sat there in the Briefing Room waiting for her Senior Officers to beam over. They had been getting their departments together in expectation of arriving to Betazed and now they were to be briefed about everything by her and Lars. Lillian just hoped that Taylor would be able to handle being in the same room with Lars because while Taylor had forgiven her, Lillian equated that to the fact that she was carrying his child and Lars had been the one to actually leave him there.

"There's a couple of things you should know before the officers get here," Lillian said softly, making a face as she took a bite of her sandwich she had replicated and then started digging into her salad. "There's something we haven't really discussed that we probably should..."

Lars, enjoying another drink as he waited for the officers to assemble, turned to regard Lillian as she spoke. He was studiously ignoring the disapproving look that the Mitterand's captain was giving him, and relishing being in the middle of so much action once again.

"Yes, ma'am?" he inquired, possessing just enough decorum to not call her Lilly in front of the others. He raised an eyebrow at her statement, then responded reassuringly. "If it's about the command hierarchy don't worry. I'm technically under the orders of Captain Wierzbowski, and as senior captain he can and will authorize me to assist in this. Don't sweat it, I'm sure that new Yeoman of yours will handle all the paperwork that arises."

"I'm not worried about the majority of the officers' performances," Lillian admitted as she looked at her plate and continued to eat even though it seemed a bit awkward that she was doing such a thing with the others around, but her pregnancy needs were what they were. "But there is an issue that must be addressed."

Lillian ate a little bit more before she looked at Lars and took a break from her meal, making eye contact with the Intel officer before she tried to piece her words together. She didn't want this to get personal because of the other officers, but she also didn't want think it was fair for Lars to be blindsided either as this was about Betazed and not about he and Taylor's past.

"My MCO," Lillian began slowly, reaching for her drink, "is re-instated Lieutenant Colonel Taylor Lucas."

Once everyone had beamed over to the Mitterand, Marlo led the way toward the briefing room as a young ensign led them down the corridors. She pulled her hair up into a ponytail, as she walked into the briefing room, hoping this would be short. She sat down in a chair, this time professionally.

"Another briefing? It's only been an hour since the last one...how am I supposed to work with all these interruptions? Is there anything new to report?" She asked. "Oh...hello Lars."

Briefings, briefing and more briefings. Taylor understood that planning and following orders were parts of the job but moving between one ship to another to be led into a briefing room filled with officers he didn't know mix with the ones he did know was not what he considered a good use of his time. They had already discussed what had to be done and what steps to take and now he had to go through the same rigmarole. He followed an ensign, like so many others had probably done so, before reaching the briefing room.

Upon entering the briefing room Taylor gave a curt nod to the races he recognized. "Lieutenant Colonel Lucas reporting." He said smartly before saluting both captains. A familiar face in a gray uniform caused Taylor to stare rather blankly before a hot flare seemed to enter his face in anger. "You!" he said accusingly. "You! They send you?!"

With every snarl Taylor stepped forward almost ready to hit Lars yet he stayed his hand. Taylor wasn't about to give him the satisfaction of him being dragged away by SOs. "Of all the Intelligence Officers they send they have to send the most incompetent, egotistical moron in this universe!"

Kalen had traveled along to the Mitterand with the rest of the crew, though he was still unaccustomed to being a member of the senior staff. All the reports and all the briefings were just so new to him. He found it to be a hurdle that he needed to jump, and so he was doing his utmost to conquer every obstacle that he encountered. He followed Commander Bakel into the briefing room and was going to report just as Lt. Col Lucas decided to do so. Standing near the back of the line of officers, he only saw the man's shoulders tense before the verbal fireworks went off.

Obviously these people had a joint past and he was curious as to what it was, but he was sure now wasn't exactly the time to ask about it. He decided for once in his life to keep his mouth shut and waited for the members of the senior staff to even move towards finding their seats. He was sure that after this bout that they would get down to business, but he knew that no matter what he would back Taylor if he needed to. He had learned so much in such a short period of time. So he stood meekly at the back of the line waiting for someone to give any sort of orders.

Taylor wasn't even aware of the pilot's presence as he continued on, jabbing Lars' chest with a finger to illustrate each point clear. "You are a complete waste of space, spook. Shall we review your blunders shall we? Last time we dealt with this virus Captain Crae, when she was the CMO of Starbase Seven, she requested medical supplies which you decided was less important than playing battleships with a superior orbital force which resulted in half the supplies needed being deployed"

If rage had an aura it would be surrounding him rather thickly as he just stared down Lars with his one real, one cybernetic eye. "Then when SB7's crew suffer from a chemical that caused hallucinations so what does the good lieutenant command do? He deploys his department to hose down the promenade! Thirty-seven dead and almost double wounded! And no evidence to him being affected! Civilians and Starfleet! And let's not forget the worst part…"

Taylor's shadow seemed to eclipse any light that would have passed over the intelligence officer. If he wasn't praying he soon would be. "You ignored the tactical analysis of two senior marine officers who's combat leadership experience far outstripped your own but you just couldn't be wrong could you Lars?! No! Of course you couldn't be! So instead of going there expecting a fight we get ambushed expecting to fix some power generator! We could have had two companies on that planet with air support! Hell we could have had the Furling on stand by! This isn't about me being left behind because I chose to fight it out while the rest of you got away…this is about Corporal Erlin Novus, twenty-one years old and guess what? He's dead because of you! I can accept when marines die from enemy action but stupidity? That's out of the question. He was more of a man than you'll ever be! And yet here you stand breathing air you aren't even fit to draw from you spineless, simpering, sexual harassing coward!"

Lars had blinked in confusion at Lillian's statement, the words not exactly registering, then been distracted by Marlo's arrival. "Hello, Commander. How are--" but his voice trailed off as a specter of the past walked into the room. "You…?" he whispered hoarsely, with none of the force Taylor had put into the word. He could only gape in horror at Lillian for a moment, finally understanding her words and the engagement ring as a number of horrible realities came crashing down around him.

Heart thumping in his chest, he could only stare in dismay as Taylor reviewed his faults and failures in front of the assembled officers, who were taking careful note, some with a great deal of satisfaction. "I made a command decision based on the intelligence available to me at the time…" he offered meekly. "I was cleared by Captain Atreides and an independent Starfleet Review Board!" He carefully neglected to mention that those verdicts had been based on a report that he himself had authored. "Medical exigencies…" he stammered, then finished his drink in one hasty gulp. Taking deep breath, he collected his thoughts, resisting the temptation to lash out with the same fury that Taylor was emitting. It was going to be fine, he reassured himself. He was protected by his position on the admiral's staff now. Nothing could happen to him now, he was sure.

So Lars fixed Taylor with as stern a gaze as he could muster. "I am of course overjoyed to see you alive and well after your unfortunate disappearance, Colonel," Lars lied through gritted teeth. "But in your self-righteous fury you might consider another perspective on the events of that tragic away mission. Your attitude then was very similar to the one you display now, vehement temper and refusal to compromise. This in turn forced several actions on my part…for the sake of discipline…that would not have been required had there been a command hierarchy that was respected and a cooperative decision-making atmosphere." He was expounding this mostly to try and get the Mitterand's captain on his side, knowing the older captain was all about command discipline and also doubting that Lillian or Marlo would come to his defense. "And charging off into those tunnels certainly did not help the situation. You practically abandoned part of the team, and in doing so abandoned much more than that," Lars hissed, with a brief glance at Lillian. There. That might cause some schism between those two and allow Lars some breathing room.

"So I submit that your hot-headedness played a large part in that…tragedy." He was careful not to say disaster. "Indeed, I wonder if this temper and fixation on ancient history will jeopardize your performance in this and other future missions." But as he said that Lars worried that the marine's temper would 'jeopardize' Lars' own physical well-being right then and there, and regretted not bringing any of his fellow Intel officers along to watch his back at this particular meeting.

"Stop it, both of you," Lillian said suddenly as she rose from the table and made it over to the two men, standing in between them.

In all reality they could take her easily--especially pregnant--even though she did have those psionic abilities of hers at her disposal. There was a time and a place for this, however, and this was not it. Lillian had no doubts in her mind that whatever respect that Captain Wierzbowski had for her was gone now considering how her MCO was acting. While Lillian got their past, no one else in the room did except for Marlo and Gabe a little bit.

"You, sit right there," Lillian told Taylor, pointing to the chair next to her, and then she looked at Lars and pointed to a chair across the table from Taylor. "You, sit there. I don't want any lip from either of you. This is about Betazed. There is a time and a place to talk to each other about this and believe me, I will be making both of you have that talk after this because I will not let Betazed fall because you two can't be in the same place together. What happened sucked and it shouldn't have happened, but right now we do not have the time to dwell on it."

Lillian took Taylor's hand that had been poking Lars in the chest and held it, letting their finger interlace even though that wasn't professional either. It was just that she needed to calm him down and she needed everyone to take a seat that hadn't sat down and she needed everyone to get to business. Lars and Taylor would talk about this later--she would force them to work it out if it was the last thing that she did.

Just for one moment Taylor thought of saying something but it was lost between a feeling of rage and the newly introduced peace that Lillian had introduced by her presence and touch. His nostrils flared but he nodded slowly. Instead of offering a rebuke Taylor just 'yes ma'am'ed in a rather defeated tone before sitting down and taking a couple of breaths to calm himself down. Yes, they would talk but not now...now was the time to prove Lars wrong.

"Captains, I apologize for my nature and can assure you it will not compromise our resolve in dealing with this situation. However if I may make a request to Captain Crae; if any intelligence uplink was to be used that its operator would be Ensign Pena. Lieutenant Commander Janssen may be too busy to offer his assistance with any strike force that I may have to command to deal with the second bomb sight."

When Lillian separated them, Lars grinned a sly grin. "Yes of course, ma'am," he said enthusiastically and made his way to the indicated chair. "You're right, after all. This is about the crisis on Betazed," he intoned loftily. As he sat, though, Lars gave the assembled officers a little shrug and a knowing smirk as if to say Marines, what can you do? and was sure that by the look of it, at least some of them agreed.

It seemed like everyone turned to look at him to see if he would have any objections to Taylor's request that Nayla handle the uplink, but instead Lars just nodded. "The colonel has an excellent idea there. I'd rather not spend my time fiddling with uplinks. I will actually be busy with assessing the overall situation, so if this ensign can handle the matter then by all means," he said with a casual wave of his hand. Magnanimous in victory as always, Lars old boy, he thought, and leaned back in his chair with a triumphant smile. Still, he made a mental note to check on this Ensign Pena to see if she was on the level.

"Both of you, shut up!" Marlo commanded. "I'm sick of your testosterone battle! The two of you will only speak if you have something useful to say that has to do with the current mission. That's an order."

"Right…well, unless there are any more personal matters to attend to, perhaps we could start this briefing someday," Captain Wierzbowski said gruffly, not the least bit amused by the little scene but more than a little intrigued by its causes.

"Certainly sir." said Taylor formally before glaring at Lars in what could have been described as brutally murderous. If a look could raise or lower the room's temperature then the entire briefing would be wearing cold weather gear. I'll show you what marines can do you pompous little twat..."Now before anyone suggests that some safety feature from some lab has accidentally failed and released a virus I suggest you scrub that now. This is an entirely hostile situation. Right now phasers are more useful than medical tricorders until the threat can be contained and eliminated. From primary reports a bomb was detonated carrying a pathogen used by the Cardassians to prevent telepaths gaining knowledge of their top secret facilities. First it restricts the use of such abilities before rendering those with them...well, dead. Symptoms include increase in thermal activity within the body, sweating, headaches before developing into immobilization and death. Races that do not possess telepathy or empathy are simply not effected but I can't rule out that they could commute it to those that would be. I've recommended to Captain Crae that anyone within the area of operations should be in hard EVA suits or armor to prevent contamination."

Taylor took a small breath before continuing. One thing was for sure, he didn't like to repeat himself. "Medical and science would be best suited to the needed research to combat the virus and come up with numbers of contingency plans should attempts to locate the second bomb fail. From what we've gathered a threat has been made about a second device using an airborne variant of the virus. We can't call their bluff in case it turns out to be genuine. Right now no demands have been made yet and the location has yet to be determined. Once we find it, it goes without saying; we need to be aggressive and precise in disarming it and disabling its creators."

"Full on has-mat suits is overkill, Mr. Lucas. We know the original virus targeted telepaths--however, I'm unsure if it could transmit to non telepaths--I haven't had much alone time with the original--and it was only transmitted through blood, so unless you're planning to perform a blood oath with someone who's infected..." Marlo trailed off, knowing she got her point across.

"I believe that a quarantine is definitely in order here, but the most important part is finding the bomb--Commander Sharpe is more than prepared to dismantle the bomb should we find it, and we must find it." Lillian explained, trying to figure out what she wanted to do next. "As to your request, Colonel Lucas, I believe you should leave the channel open for Ensign Pena and Lieutenant Cross as she is CIO and came to me with some of our information in the first place. What I want to know is what team members will be going down with the group that I am leading."

She had yet to tell Taylor that she was leading a group down at Captain Wierzbowski's suggestion. Lillian knew that Taylor wasn't going to be happy about it, but Lillian wanted to do her part in all of this and felt like she had to be part of the solution. Either way, she was a leader who liked to know her team and she wanted more than anything to get to know some of the people before they got in orbit of Betazed and beamed down.

"Commander Bakel will be on the bridge of the Fenris to keep me posted, and my Marines and my Engineers are ready, but Medical and Science are most important." Lillian said out loud.

"Person who created this virus is smart commander." replied Taylor flatly. "They'd know that whoever it was deployed against might find out that it kills just telepaths. So then they'd surmise that we'd separated infected telepaths from non-infected telepaths. They've said that they've got an aerosol version of the weapon and it might be designed to use non-telepaths as a carrier or the disease. Please tell me that you're not going to weigh up the dangers against your weak argument here...so what if it's transmittable by blood? A medic forgets to use a fresh IV then one more person is infected. When NBC warfare is in effect you can't take chances. You have to prepare for the what ifs."

Gabe sat in silence, his arms folded across his chest as the briefing continued. He almost smiled as Taylor gave Lars a dressing down but said nothing, he had too much on his mind at the minute.

"I agree with Colonel Lucas, when dealing with a virus like this we can't be too careful. We know the virus has been modifed to become airborne we have no idea what other changes have been made and given our timeline we don't really have the time to find out. But before I even think about that we need to find that bomb, so what's the plan on that one?"

"No offense Lieutenant Commander Sharpe, but I have an objection," Alyssa spoke, knowing full well that she was not exactly a medical officer and had no control over Captain Wierzbowski's decisions. "I'm sorry Captain Crae, but I believe it to be very unwise for you to lead a team. I know that this is your home planet and you want to help at all costs, but you need to remember that you've been infected by this virus before and you're with child now. The virus now on Betazed may not be the same virus, and we have no idea of the full capability it has. I'm against you leading a team, and will be stated in my report as such. Now, I have a request. One that I hope you, and Captain Wierzbowski will grant. I request to be as far away from Lieutenant Commander Lars Janssen as possible."

Alyssa knew all too well that this request would not be granted, and her objection would be ignored. She decided to take a chance in front of everyone to state her objection and request, rather than to keep it to herself and possibly plan the death of Lieutenant Commander Lars Janssen. She knew, from the reports, what had happen on the planet where Taylor was left for dead along with her cousin's account; which she believed more so than the reports.

Lars gave Alyssa an icy stare at that, but said nothing, only slowly typed something into his PADD. It was clear to him that the crew of the Fenris had been thoroughly infected by Taylor and his ideas, and that presented a problem. He would need to find some allies on the ship, but it seemed like no one at this briefing would do. A closer evaluation of the rest of the crew was in order. Frowning, he carefully set the PADD down on the table and folded his gloved hands in front of him as he gazed at Lillian now, still silent.

Lillian felt...embarrassed. She couldn't figure out what other emotions were swirling around in there but she knew for certain that she was embarrassed. Not a single one of her Senior Officers had been acting with any respect for authority except for Marlo, Kalen and Gabe, and Marissa and Marlena who had kept silent all this time. The moment Lars and Taylor started throwing quips at each other it had just shown the other officers that they could act like that and now Lillian knew whatever respect she had gained coming aboard the Mitterand had been lost.

She could just imagine the kind of reports that Captain Weirzbowski would be filing about her to Starfleet Command and she couldn't help but feel a bit defeated. She'd told K'Nok that she wasn't fit to run her own ship and she felt as though she had been incredibly right because she had failed...she didn't have a team that could work together and put personal issues aside when faced with a crisis. That was a clear indication of failed leadership. Now wasn't the time to feel sorry for herself, however, it was a time to assert herself.

"EVA suits will be mandatory for the group going after the bomb, however other than that I will not permit such measures as reports from Betazed don't show a mutation so far from the research I found on Baicephorus VII. Such extreme precautions will just alert the civilians into a panic and that is the last thing that we want." Lillian said in an authoritative voice, though she had a feeling that the ones that knew her best, knew she was feeling defeated. "I will be leading the first team down. In case you have all forgotten, I have the knowledge and research at my disposal as well as the personal experience to help the doctors already on Betazed to piece this all together. This is not about our sacrifices, this about an entire race that has been exposed to something deadly for no good reason. So, let me be perfectly clear in spelling out your orders because that is why you are here. To get a job done."

Lillian didn't know if they would all hate her or not for her next words, but she was tired of personal games. "Commander Bakel will keep in contact with everyone from the Fenris, working on her own tasks I have assigned to her up there, and making sure that everyone else is doing what they should be doing. Colonel Lucas and Lieutenant Gespard will be with the Marine Detachment, helping to search for the bomb, accompanied by Commander Sharpe who will be in charge of dismantling the bomb, and Lieutenant Garren and a team of her choosing who will help as well. As for Lieutenant Life, I will let her know what is going on and she will accompany me as I will need her assistance in research, as well as my CMO, Rothschild. Lieutenant Shields will be heading down to the planet to help to make sure this situation can be handled in a healthy emotional way--helping the other counselors down there already, as Betazed is home to many. Lieutenant Cross and Commander Janssen? PIck where your think your specialties are better served and you have my permission to do just that. From here on out you will all be taking orders from the personnel down there already that outrank you and you will follow them without question and with respect. Is everyone clear?"

Kalen sat in his chair near the end of the table. He was easily the least experienced and probably youngest person at this table, but he still felt that he needed to take part in this. Maybe that inexperience and his lack of a past with anyone but the short time he had had amongst his new friends in the crew would be an asset. He could serve as a liaison perhaps between the people who clearly hated one another. He listened to all of the conversations as everyone stated their opinions and he noticed a few things. First, that while his captain seemed to have an idea about the mission, everyone else on her staff thought differently than her. Second, that while no one seemed to get along, there was this unbearable tension in the room. It made him want to shout at them. To tell them how childish and destructive holding grudges was. He could understand Taylor's decision as a man, but he had no idea why everyone else was against the intelligence officer. And maybe he would never know. And that would be okay with him, he didn't need every iota of information on the ship. But when he decided to speak, he tried to make it as eloquent as he could to avoid showing his inexperience and naivety.

"Having been infected by the Cardassian virus before, would not Captain Crae have the most knowledge of both having to combat it in the field and the precautions to take against it? No offense Miss Shields, but I have no doubt in my mind about her ability to lead this team as a woman carrying a child. But my only worry stands with yours as well. While I would never doubt her decision making faculties, I have to ask, Captain. Is she right? Would these people being your people affect your judgement and emotions in the field? If you can look me in the eye and tell me that you can treat them with no more love or affection than any other sentient race in danger, then I will be behind you one hundred percent. I could serve as a go-between perhaps, for some of the more..passionate members of the team." He looked at the two men. While he respected Taylor greatly, someone had to be the glue that held the teams down on the planet together. He felt that he could do that. He would prove useful, that he promised himself.

After listening to her orders, knowing full well the severity of their situation. He was happy to be going with the marines. He would enjoy being in the field. He hadn't really ever had the opportunity before.

Captain Wierzbowski surprised everyone then by speaking. "Right. I think Captain Crae has just given us all the most level-headed course of action there, and based on that I would say that her connections to this world and her physical condition should not present a problem. Captain, your plan is approved and you are in charge of the initial team on the ground's actions until further notice."

Having hopefully silenced further objections to Lillian's plan, he then nodded to a stoic Vulcan woman in a Medical uniform sitting a few seats away from him, the Mitterand's CMO. "Doctor T'Lek will remain aboard for now, so she has access to the ship's medical equipment to use with whatever data you send up. The same goes for my science staff. The Mitt's labs have greater processing power, so we'll work off of whatever data you provide in the search for a treatment."

He sniffed then, and adjusted his collar. "As you said, we need to defer to Betazoid response teams already on-site, so I don't want to hear about anyone playing cowboy down there. Get the job done and get back to the ship. I'll assign personnel from those departments to supplement your team where needed, but other than that I like the plan you've provided, and I say do it."

Wierzbowski had given his implicit support to the less experienced Captain Crae, but also given her a career-making or breaking challenge: although both ships' crews were involved in this mission, it would be the Fenris' officers that would have the most immediate initial impact on the ground. If they succeeded then all would be well, if they struggled then the Mitterand's more experienced personnel stood ready to jump in, but either way it would be a defining test of the newly formed crew and its captain in the eyes of Starfleet Command. Whether he did this to give Lillian a chance to prove herself or merely to cover his own ass was known only to the older captain, who now eyed the assembled officers intently to listen for any further comments.

Marlo sighed. All this arguing was getting them nowhere. She was not going to stop anyone who wanted extra assurance that they weren't going to get sick, from wearing an EVA suit. If they wanted to wear the bulky and awkward things--to each their own.

"I'll be in the science labs if anyone needs me." She told them all, standing up from the briefing table.

Alyssa got up from the table as well. "I'll be in my office, disobeying orders. Excuse me while I go find a different ship to be on. Lieutenant Commander Janssen, I'm sorry for my request. I was completely out of line, and I'm sorry. Please forgive me for misjudging you. Captain Crae, it was an honor to serve with you. Captain Wierzbowski, I'm sorry for my rudeness. I must be frank: my professional opinion has been ignored and will be continued to be ignored on this mission. I'm unfit for duty. Please excuse me."

Alyssa didn't wait for anyone to respond, she just left.

He didn't hesitate for more than a moment after he saw her leave. He looked to his captain to exchange a look that was apologetic and he got up and he followed her out. "Miss Shields! Please, wait a moment." He chased after her for she was much further along the hall due to her head start. He tried to meet her stride as she was heading to her office. "Please Miss Shields, what's going on? I don't want to watch you leave, we were just getting to know one another." He pondered something rash for a moment before heedlessly ignoring whatever voice might have said. He pulled her back into his arms and kissed her momentarily before disengaging. "I don't want you to leave the ship. I would never get to see you again." He remembered that he was still probably expected to be in the briefing. "Think about it, Miss Shields. I have to go back, but I would like to talk to you at least once more before you decide anything." He turned on his heel and walked back towards the briefing room to retake his seat. He couldn't afford to be more of a hindrance to their progress. He wanted his first opportunity as a member of a team and of the crew to go well.

"Well," Lillian said slowly, rising out of her chair and trying hard to still remain as in command as possible right then. "I think that about covers all of it. We'll be in orbit at approximately 1520, so make sure you know what you're doing. Dismissed."


JP by all these lovelies






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Betazoid and Enchanted.
El'Aurian and Proud.


Last edited by Lillian Crae on Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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Alyssa Shields
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Join date : 2011-10-28
Age : 27

PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:05 pm

||USS Fenris
||Alyssa's Office
||1509

Alyssa had made a quick stop at her quarters to get a box, before heading to the office.

"Hi Kat." She adressed, as she walked into her office.

Kat just stared. She knew that a briefing would take a while, but she didn't except to see Alyssa this soon. "Is everything okay?"

Alyssa walked out. "I'm sorry. What is that you want? It's a bit hard to hear through my office's door."

"Are you all right?" Kat asked.

"I just quit, so no. I'm going to go think in my office." Alyssa answered turning around. "If anyone needs me, I'm not here."

"Got it." Kat replied.

Returning to the inside of her office, Alyssa began to put the few personal items she had into the box on her desk.

"Why did Lieutenant Gespard have to do that?"

She put the led on the box, then opened the bottom drawer to pull out a tennis ball. She then moved what furniture she could, and began trowing the ball against the wall next to her desk.

"Just up and quit, even though I'm capable of doing my duties. i just didn't want to do a promise. Why do boys have this want to beat the crap out of each other? And again: why did Lieutenant Gespard have to do that?"

She felt stupid doing this in her office instead of her quarters, but she told everyone that this was where she was going to be. Continuing to throw the ball against the wall, she thought about everything that had happen. She knew it was right to state her professional opinion, but not the request so openly.

"The Captains could've at least acknowledged my professional opinion. I've never seen a captain not acknowledge a professional opinion. There's a first for everything, and I just witness it. Why am I still thinking about what Lieutenant Gespard did?"

She threw the ball a couple more times. "I'm human and humans have a tendency to focus on certain things. Need to do my job. Wait can't because I quit. Why couldn't I have just excused myself?!"

She was angry, so she just continued to throw the ball at the wall.

After the meeting had ended they had taken a shuttle back from the MItterand. He kept thinking about the mission and what would be going on in the next few days. But more importantly he was focused on Alyssa's departure. He was still incredibly curious why she had just up and left. I mean he understood from a professional sense. Her opinion was probably very important to her. But it had to be more than just that to wish to resign her post. He wanted to know. Needed to know. There was something there that he was missing, the points in the line didn't connect from a lack of momentary respect on both sides to leaving the ship forever because of it. He walked down the halls towards her office. After all, that's where she said she would be. He walked through the doors to the counselor's offices and saw Kat at the desk. He sat down and waited, "I'm here to see Lieutenant Shields."

He assumed he would be let in but when the woman said that she wasn't there he was slightly shocked. "Not here hmm? Well this is where she said she would be. Perhaps she just hasn't made it this far. Though if she were here, she would be inclined to know that there is an old Earth fairy tale that involves three little pigs and a wolf. In short, it would involve me huffing and puffing and blowing her door down." He nodded and sat there complacently, a sly grin on his face.

Alyssa walked out. "Kat, why do human beings suck?"

"Because...um.... human beings make mistakes?" Kat asked back, not sure what was going on.

Alyssa sighed. "Thank you."

He looked up at the Lieutenant as she came out and kept the smile on his face. He pondered her question for a moment before deciding to pipe up from his chair. "Maybe you're looking at it the wrong way ma'am. Instead of asking why do we suck, ask yourself why there is a lack of understanding that is communicable between two people. For instance, I understand that you are troubled and perhaps could use assistance in your search for the answers you seek. But would that be my place? After all you are the counselor and have a far greater knowledge of the emotions of men and women. I am a pilot, a very straightforward and emotionally devoid task. But alas, i will throw my lot in with you. You left so quickly...but I was hoping to catch you before you got too far." He stood up and walked towards her, "What are we but two souls in the heavens of our ancestors, still debating the same predicaments that have plagued us for time immeasurable?" He sighed softly, "I came hoping to convince you not to leave. Can we talk inside?" He pointed towards her office. Despite everything, he didn't intend to have this conversation where anyone could walk in on it. He cared a great deal about what would happen and would do anything he could to change her mind.

Alyssa looked at him, then nodded. "Let me know if Captain Crae or anyone higher on the chain of command comes. Thank you Kat."

"Yes, and your welcome." Kat replied. "Sorry for not giving you a warning."

"It's fine. Just wasn't the first person I excepted to see." Alyssa informed, before heading into her office. "Please ignore the rearranging, and me possibly throwing a tennis ball at the wall."

He followed her into the office and sat in one of the chairs that was placed differently than the last time he was here and smiled at her. "Well that's disappointing. I was hoping to be the first person you wanted to see." He laughed merrily. "Sorry I ambushed you. But I did wish to talk to you."

He pondered for a moment, wondering how to advance. He leaned back slightly, cracking his back on the chair. "Well I suppose to start off, I wanted to talk to you about all of this. I wanted to know why you thought this was necessary. I want to stop you from leaving." He thought a commonality between them meant he could use her first name so he did. "Alyssa...you know about what happened to me. I have a hard time creating and maintaining interpersonal relationships. But I would hate to leave whatever this could be untried. And I will do whatever I can to make that happen." He watched her for a moment or two, wondering what was running through her mind.

Alyssa nodded. "Okay..."

She thought about what to say to that. And for once, she didn't know. She picked the tennis ball off of her desk, and tossed it between her hands. "I don't know what you want me to say to that." She started pacing while keeping the ball going between her hands. "Is this some kind of order? And it's Counselor Shields. We haven't reached a level where you can call me by my first name. And just because I know your record, doesn't really help me right now. Yes, I believe me leaving is necessary. Is it the right thing to do? I have no idea. All I know is something is off, and I don't like. What is it that you have a desire to talk about?" She then threw the ball at the wall and caught it.

He shrugged his shoulders, watching her throw the ball for a moment. He asked himself why was he there? He had to make sure to get his point across without seeming like a dim-witted fool. He gazed at her for a moment or two. "No ma'am. It's no order. I just...thought that maybe...well I don't really know." He sighed. He was always befuddled when it came to the talk of anything long-term. "Please...Counselor Shields. What I want is to sway you in that thought of mind. In all those thoughts. I want to reach the level where I can call you by your first name. I want you leaving to not be necessary in your mind. What I want to talk about is me kissing you. I know in my heart that it was the right thing to do. And maybe that could lead me in the right direction. Maybe what I want is not to see you as a counselor, but as a woman. Please, tell me if I am barking up the wrong tree here." He felt that throwing the ball against the wall would help him break this tension too, but he wouldn't ask her for that.

She stopped throwing the ball and looked at him. Wondering if he was being serious or not. "Let me try to get this straight, so that I understand you correctly. You want to talk about having a relationship with me in hopes it'll get me to stay. Am I right?" She was a bit worried that she had worded that wrong, but hoped he'd understand it.

He shook his head, "No no no. Ma'am I want to have a relationship with you, so I hope you stay. I can't stop you from leaving if you want to. I don't want that to seem like that that is my motivation. I have not the wherewithal to try to force you to do anything. I just have a hope that maybe you would. And I wanted to see if maybe there was something here to explore before you made a final decision to leave and never come back. You know?" He sighed softly. He didn't mean for it to sound like he was colluding in an attempt for her to just stay on the ship and do her job. He just had a feeling in his gut that maybe this relationship could go somewhere and her sudden acclaim to leave made that feeling all the more prominent to express before she did.

"That makes so much more sense." She replied, tossing the ball between her hands again. "It's something to be considered. Please don't mind whatever I say. I need to think out loud; one of my many flaws. There's another tennis ball in the bottom left drawer of my desk if you need to do something." She began pacing the room again. "Possibly have a relationship. Kiss was fantastic. Won't have a job in a few months; well don't have one now. Did promise to stay until my cousin got here. Since I don't have a job, I won't being doing the mission. But I'll be really bored. Now that I think about it, even if I find somewhere to go, I won't be able to go for a few days. I'll be bored either way. Staying makes so that I don't have to hide from cousin. Hmm..."

He chuckled softly at her idea, "Yes that sounds quite fantastic. I will try to keep up with you." He sat next to her and threw the ball against the wall listening to her think aloud. "I wouldn't consider it a flaw, ma'am. Just another interesting idiosyncrasy in your personality. I like it. Too many people keep their thoughts to themselves." He continued listening to her he smiled softly. To help with her problem, he thought he would lend a hand. "Well I will be on the surface with the marines, so unfortunately we won't be able to pursue a relationship during this mission. But count on the fact that I will be thinking about you on the surface. I hope you decide to stay and wait for your cousin, but I understand if you don't want to."

She sighed. "Is that my que to go apologize to the Captain? Because that's not happening. Even with both of us on the surface, we'll be in two different areas. Plus both of us will be busy doing our duties, so we won't be able to start a relationship anyways. When you meet my cousin, you'll understand why hiding isn't a good idea. Lydia can find you, kick your ass, then tell you to go do your duty. In my case, she'd send me to sickbay; where I'd be living for the next few days." She smiled a little. "I should try to remember to not teach her things. She always uses them against. Funny how things works."

He shrugged his shoulders, "I don't know ma'am. I am not here to try to force you into doing anything. I don't expect anything like that. And I understand, I just wish for you to stay until the mission is over before you decide one way or the other to leave." He smiled softly at her description of her cousin. He had many women like that in his life, but each one was different and he enjoyed slightly being shown what he was doing wrong and how to make it right. "Yeah you gotta be careful with what you show others, sometimes they turn it around on you to show you your own lesson." He grinned, stopping the throwing of the ball to gaze at her, catching her profile as he sat next to her. He chuckled slightly, "What I said to you in this office the last time, it is more true now than ever. You are gorgeous. I think standing up for yourself was good for you as a woman, but maybe not as a member of this crew." He pondered for a moment. "Is there anything I can do to mend this bridge?"

"Nothing comes to mind. If there is anything you can do, I'll be sure to let you know." She answered, contemplating rather or not he was right about staying. "You should probably getting going since you've got duties. I promise to not leave until the mission is over. Besides, our Captain hasn't talked to me yet and I've got to wait for her to do so. Be careful down there. Viruses have a tendency to change."

He nodded and placed the ball against the ground, letting it roll back towards her desk. He knew that there was hope for them yet. While he couldn't necessarily help her make the decision to stay, he hoped that she would. He sighed softly, "Yes, that I should. The shuttles will be leaving anytime and I have to get ready. Hope nothing goes wrong, I would hate to not see this through. I know I won't disappoint you ma'am." He chuckled softly, hoping the conversation with Lillian would change her mind to stay. As long as they stayed civil, he was sure that it would. He leaned in, "I will come back unscathed. I promise you." He kissed her once more as he had in the hallway of the Mitterand. "See you in a few days." He said simply and stood up, making his way out of the office. He would take her warning with him, hoping full well that it didn't and he could fulfill his promise.

She smiled to herself and watched him leave. She hoped the Captain would talk with her before she went to the surface, but knew that the Captain was needed and understood the postponement of their chat.

JP:


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Gabriel Sharpe
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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:25 pm

||Engineering
||USS Fenris
||1455

While Engineering was a place where Marissa normally came to talk to her brother, Aaron, Marissa found that she entered the area to see Gabe instead. She wanted to talk to him before they got to Betazed because she was feeling jittery and she knew this was a place where she could calm down.

Something about the warp core's hum made her feel more settled.

Something about being in the place that held the ship together made her feel safe.

On top of that she couldn't be forward here because it was where Gabe worked so she didn't have to worry about crossing over any boundaries they needed to keep. She would still get to talk to Gabe and feel comforted and then run off to yell at her men and get them into shape before they reached Betazed to figure out the situation.

Gabe sat in the upper level railing, his legs dangling near the warp core as he read from the PADD H'var had given him earlier. He studied the designs and notes, for at least the 3rd time, not that he really needed to but it gave him something to do while he had a quick something to eat. He took a bite from the bacon sandwich balanced on the railing next to him as he heard someone walk up behind him.

"Excuse me sir, it seems Lt Garren is here I don't know what she wants but.." The ensign started, his voice telling Gabe everything he needed to know.

"A, her brother works down here and B, less of that tone Ensign despite what ya may have heard we're both professionals so wipe that smirk off ya face and find out why she's here, if she wants to talk to me send her up."

The Ensign stuttered slightly as Gabe caught him off guard, "Yes sir...sorry sir."

"Like being surrounded by bloody school children." he said taking another bite.

Marissa laughed a little bit as she looked around and spotted her brother looking a little frustrated with his job and then she saw an ensign come up to her. He looked a little like he felt intimidated by her and so she spared him having to talk to her by already having his mind made up.

"I'm just here to talk to Sharpe," she explained with a shrug, "to finalize some mission details."

The ensign nodded. "Up there."

"Thanks." Marissa said happily and then made her way up to where Gabe was sitting and eating. "Good to see you're eating."

"Yea and I managed to not get it down my shirt this time." he said jokingly, "Feel free to grab some if ya like."

Marissa winked at him. "Aww, but I so liked that you were dirty."

"So what can I do ya for?, other then offering a look at my handsome mug anyway." He said sneaking his hand onto hers.

Marissa smiled and squeezed his hand gentle and firm to show she appreciated the affection. Then she looked around before stealing a quick kiss from him and shrugging a little bit as she sat there next to him and looked at the core for a moment or two. The humming was really helping with her thought process and she was a little worried about what was to come, but she could handle it.

"You're going to be careful, right? I know I give off this air of a badass and everything, but I care about you and I'd really rather you didn't get hurt when we get to Betazed." Marissa said with a small nod. "I have faith in you and in everyone going down, but I just...always be prepared for something bad to happen. That way when it doesn't you can be pleasantly surprised."

"Don't worry, I've done this before...it's not exactly my first dance. Come on, I have something to show ya." He said, standing up and leading her to his office.

Once inside he walked over to a upright cargo container and tapped a code into the keypad on the side. The 'doors' opened to reveal his Black Special Operations Marine armour and his own hand made pistol.

"Like I said," He said with a smile, "this isn't my first dance. Besides, I have a damn good reason to make it back." he added.

"You're a marine," she said simply.

It brought a smile to her face though because she honestly felt like she knew a bit more about the dashing man next to her and it made her happy. He knew what it was like to always be prepared and she was glad that he had a bit more experience in these kinds of things.

"I knew there was a reason why you were so dashing," she teased as she leaned against him and looked at the armor. "Good reason to make it back? Pray tell."

"Techincally a marine, I was seconded to a Special Ops team near the end of the Dominion war due to my knowledge and skillset, it was kinda of a officer exchange program, I has a naval officer before and after." He replied, he decided to leave out the reasons he'd left the team until later, given the mission coming up he thought it best not to bring it to the front of his mind. As for my reason...well." He added before he kissed her deeply, one hand at the small of her back and the other running through her hair, "I'll let you figure that one out."

Marissa could help but smile when Gabe broke the kiss off and then go back in for another one. She'd been out of the game a couple years due to her work but she honestly didn't feel all that rusty when it came to Gabe--everything seemed the way it should be.

He made her feel happy and calm.

He made her feel like everything was okay.

She wrapped her arms around him to return the tender touch and smiled into the kisses, wanting more than anything to just damn the mission and stay here locked away in his office. It wasn't the time or place though so she just pulled back gently and rested her forehead against his a moment, her eyes closed.

"Whatever happens, I've got your back."

"Good to know and I'll have yours." he said taking his oversized Phaser from the box and held it in his hand for a few seconds. "Ya know I've not used this for anything other then target practice in years."

"Then you're a bit rusty, Sharpe," she teased with a smile on her face.

It made her a little nervous that he was rusty but she had faith in him. She had to faith in him or what else did she have?

"Just make sure to shoot to kill if you're attacked and everything should be peachy." Marissa said nodding. "If you get yourself hurt, I'll hurt you worse and then kiss it better."

"Rusty? I guess ya could say that, but I'm sure I'll work it out sooner or later." he said with a smile, In more ways then one. he thought.

"And be careful with promises like that, I may just have injure myself for the attention afterwards." He added with a wink and started to pull out his armour, it wasn't long before the shuttle left for Betazed and he wanted to get a feel for the armour again.

Marissa watched Gabe as he started to pull on his armor and even started to help him with it to show him that she was there for him no matter what the task was. She liked being around him and this seemed like as good a time as any to get to know him better and show him that she supported him.

"We'll all do fine," she said with a smile, looking at Gabe and then winking. "Though just for good measure I'll take you back to my quarters when this is all over and nurse all your wounds back to health...promise."

"That's good to know." he said, his voice and smile flatter then he wanted. He flexed his fingers and his hands shook a little, "But some hurts can't be fixed so easily."

"Sorry, it's just that this brings back memories and not all of them are good." He added.

Marissa took the initiative to kiss Gabe again and nodded gently. "I know some hurts can't be fixed so easy but I want to try and heal what hurts I can, okay? You and me after this is over. Dinner in my quarters, you can stay over and we'll just focus on us and not on the mess that is missions. What do you say?"

She wanted something to come back to and while she had to go and talk to her men, seeing Gabe had made her feel better about this mission already. As long as he stayed safe and alert and she did the same then they could continue with their lives and try and be there for each other which would be a nice change of pace from her normal life.

"That sounds like a good night to me, franklt the way my nerves are at the minute i could do with some relaxastion." He said as he curled a lock of her hair with his finger. He knew that right now wasn't really the time for personal things but he didn't care, they still had a few minutes before they had to part ways. He kissed her deeply and nuzzled her neck. "Thankyou i needed that." he added with a smile."

Joint post by
and


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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:49 pm

||Betazed
||Crae Residence
||1500




Sareth knew that he would feel so much better with his mother there, but it just wasn't time yet. Instead he was spending time with his uncle Leonard, his aunt Megan, and his cousins. Megan was looking a bit worse for wear as she had in fact contracted the virus, she just had yet to say something about it. Doctor Jason Karn had come to see what was up with her per Leonard's request, but both Leonard and Sareth thought something was off.

"I don't trust him, Uncle Leo," Sareth said softly as he sat on his uncle's lap, shaking his head. "I don't want him to be here."

Leonard furrowed his brow and nodded. "Something about him is off, but he's too powerful for me to read his mind."

"I want Momma," Sareth declared sadly.

"It would be nice to have Lill here, I agree, but right now we need to make sure that Megan is alright." Leonard explained to Sareth as he picked him up and went into Megan's room with Jason. "How does it look?"

Jason looked up and smiled at Leonard as he knelt by Megan's side, glad to have dosed the Betazoid per Marshall's request. Megan was sleeping because she was tired and in pain--the exact same symptoms that Lillian had had on Baicephorus VII. He knew that Leonard and Sareth were untrusting and Sareth had every right to be as Jason had attacked his mother with his mind while Sareth took a nap. They were right where Jason wanted them and Sareth was the next target. Not Leonard, no...the half Vulcan.

"She definitely has the disease," Jason told them with a nod as he stood up. "I'll have to transfer her over to your wife and then stay here to keep an eye on you guys to make sure if you have it or not. I don't want to take any chances."

Sareth shook his head. "I don't trust you."

"Megan's sick, Sareth," Leonard began, but stopped when Sareth shook his head again.

"I know that, but I don't trust him. He's bad." Sareth said loudly, looking at his grandmother and grandfather when they came into the room.

Minas took a deep breath as Leona reached for Sareth and took him from Leonard, who then went to go and check on his three kids out in the yard. Leona knew the look on her husband's face and when Jason told them that Megan was in fact infected and dying, Minas took a deep breath before he continued. Sareth just buried his face in the crook of his grandmother's neck and waited to hear the words that were coming next.

"You heard my grandson," Minas said slowly, shaking his head. "We will contact Kara about Megan's condition, but I want you to know that we're watching you. You're walking on thin ice, Doctor."


||USS Fenris
||Bridge
||1520


Lillian was wringing her fingers as she sat there on the bridge and tried to figure out what in the world she was going to do. They were just now nearing Betazed--it was in clear sight in the viewscreen--and she knew she needed to talk to Alyssa about what was going on with her because something was off. She had addressed the young woman's concerns and while it had not been directly to her face it was crunch time. Then again, maybe Alyssa just wasn't used to this kind of command scenario.

In fact Lillian was new to actually being in charge.

She had been acting CO before, but she was the CO now and there were a lot of decisions that she really didn't have the luxury to be making. Now was not one of those times, however. Pregnant or not--an ex-victim of this virus or not--Lillian was the only one that could really get this mission under control and it made her wonder about Alyssa a little more. They knew each other because of Marshall and because Alyssa was Lydia's cousin, but there had to be something else going on with her for her to immediately jump to the conclusion that she was being ignored professionally.

Lillian knew she should have been more straight forward to Alyssa's face about the issues she had brought up--they were good ones--but they weren't actually issues. What Alyssa didn't know was that Lillian knew exactly what she was dealing with and the crew had been giving what information they had needed: it was a virus transmitted through blood contact and the real issue was of course the airborne virus. There was no need for panic and EVA suits, just going in, making a cure and getting out.

"We're just now making it into orbit," Derek told Lillian with a smile on his face.

After what Melinda had warned her about, Lillian knew that there was something off about Derek for a reason and that reason was because he worked for Marshall. After all, Lillian had a good sense for judging people and she wanted to know more than ever why it was that Derek was here and what information it was that he was feeding Marshall...and what did Taylor know about it? After this was all over, she and Taylor needed to have another little chat, only this time a very serious one.

Lillian turned the ship-wide comm on and nodded slowly as she settled in next to Marlo even though she wanted to jump up and board the closest shuttle. "This is Captain Crae. We are now in orbit around Betazed. Everyone going down to the surface please proceed to Shuttlebay II and III and board for departure."


(Feel free to start posting on the planet or in the shuttles, whatever you guys want. Smile )

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Selina Karr
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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:44 am

Lilly/Alyssa - 1530

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PostSubject: Re: Episode 3: Prodigal Children   Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:49 am

||Shuttle
||USS Fenris
||1540

Taylor had dismissed all but one of his marine squads since the amount of friendly forces on Betazed's surface was more than enough. It wasn't like they were a major part of the relief effort. They were just the small part of the bigger plan. Arcadian 3 was the detachment's recon squad and currently they were piling into the back of a shuttle, they didn't really know the name.

Eleven heavily armoured and armed marines sat silently within the seats waiting for Taylor to make an order or for something else to happen. Several of them were wearing their helmets but Taylor cradled his within his hands, carbine on his lap. Looking inside of the piece of protective armour he grimaced and took off his black ranger beret so he could slip the helmet on and lock it down.

"I know I don't have to tell you boys and girls but this is an EOD and CT mission. We'll be operating within a city so watch fire for civilians and keep your fingers off the triggers until you're committed."

"We'll do you proud colonel." Said Sergeant Katha, an Andorian who led Acadian 3.

With his helmet on Taylor looked exactly like his marines with no way to tell him apart from whoever sat next to him apart from the collections of drawings on his armour. Marines like to give their personal combat attire a little bit of artwork either for personal reasons or sheer boredom. With the new armour Taylor had to put back on his Orion girl and list of failed relationships on each of the should plates with the lion rampant/saltire on the chest.

Taylor got on his helmet comms with Lillian's combadge "Captain Crae, this is Arcadian 3. Ready for deployment. Just need our resident pilot and engineer."

Tag: Kalen, Gabe, Lilly.
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